Proponents of a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases pulled the bill Friday saying they didn’t believe they had enough votes to pass the measure this legislative session.
Three lawmakers who supported the legislation thanked the victims of sexual abuse for coming forward and sharing their stories.
Rep. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, said the reason the bill got as far as it did this year was due to the courage of the victims.
Some of the victims who spoke in support of the bill were victims of the late Dr. George Reardon, who practiced at Saint Francis Hospital.
“There is likely to be a resolution of at least one of the major situations that has given rise to the focus on this bill,” said Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, referring to the Reardon cases.
The Catholic Church said the bill would bankrupt it, but proponents said removing the limitation would help those over the age of 48 seek justice for abuses in their childhood. As the law is written now, the statute of limitations is 30 years and the clock starts ticking when an individual turns 18 years of age.
While the bill may not pass this year, Lawlor said “there is clear momentum.”
In the meantime, victims and defendants seem to be motivated to resolve cases like this, which is a result of what has happened here at the Capitol, Lawlor opined. “There is a general consensus that justice needs to be done here in some fashion.”