Child sex abuse victims will have more time to file civil lawsuits against their attackers if Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his way.
Cuomo wants state lawmakers to extend the statute of limitations, which puts a deadline on child sex abuse lawsuits. Currently, people who claim they were abused as children can sue until they turn 23 years old. The Child Victims Act would allow abuse victims to sue until they’re 55 years old. It would also create a one-year “look back” window allowing abuse victims whose claims have been barred by the statute of limitations to file new suits for one year.
Versions of the legislation have been floating around Albany for years. The measure has its best chance at passing yet because Democrats now control both chambers of the state legislature, as well as the governor’s mansion. That’s expected to give the bill enough support to move, despite some concerns about the “look back” window.
A person accused of child sex abuse in New York doesn’t just have to worry about what can be expensive civil lawsuits. There are also possible criminal charges, which can come with the threat of steep fines and long stretches behind bars. That’s not to mention the social stigma that comes with being branded a convicted sex offender. That status can make it difficult to find and keep a job.
Sex crimes cover a wide range of offenses, from certain lewd behavior to child pornography and rape. Sex abuse generally refers to unlawful touching or sexual conduct with a victim who doesn’t consent. State law makes children under the age of 17 legally incapable of giving consent. That essentially means that sexual contact with a person under 17 is a “strict liability” offense in which consent cannot be raised as a defense.
Because of the serious potential punishment and limits on defenses in child sex abuse cases, it is important to fight these cases head on.
It is vital that anyone suspected of or charged with a se or other crime in the Capital District seek the advice of an experienced Albany criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help you weigh your options and start building the strongest possible defense, in some cases before you’ve even been charged with a crime.
James E. Tyner is an experienced Albany child abuse attorney who has been representing clients in gun and other criminal cases for more than a decade. Mr. Tyner has a strong track record of getting optimal results for the people that he represents. Contact us online or call 1-866-715-4396 to schedule a free consultation.
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Posted by: Eric Buckley