General Assembly committee deals blow to many priest abuse victims

The Day | 4/21/2019 | Staff
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A General Assembly committee has modified a proposed bill so alleged victims of Catholic clergy abuse will not have a 27-month window to sue the church regardless of their age.

During an April 1 public hearing before the Judiciary Committee, people older than 48 who say they were sexually assaulted by priests urged the committee to support a provision in Senate Bill 3 that would have allowed them to sue the church after that age, which is the current law.

Bill - Committee - Legislature - Consideration - Victims

But a substitute bill approved by the committee that now moves on to the legislature for consideration would instead give victims to age 56 to file a lawsuit.

“It’s like another punch in the gut,” said Tim McGuire of New London, who discovered he had missed the filing deadline by three weeks when he decided to come forward 12 years ago.

Change - Age - Filing - Deadline - Years

Now, with the proposed change to age 56, he will miss the filing deadline by four years.

“I was stunned,” said McGuire, who said he heard about the change during a support group meeting late last week with the Connecticut chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

McGuire - Judiciary - Committee - Members - Altar

McGuire had broken down when he testified before the Judiciary Committee, telling members how as an 8-year-old altar boy he was sexually assaulted by the late Rev. James Curry at St. Joseph’s Church in Noank and how it has affected his life.

“It may help a few people, but it left me in the dust again,” added McGuire. “Why take away someone’s chance for accountability?”

Gail - Howard - Co-leaders - Connecticut - Chapter

Gail Howard, one of the co-leaders of the Connecticut chapter of SNAP, said Sunday that of the 20 priest abuse victims who have contacted her since last summer’s release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report on priest sex abuse there, just two to three will benefit from the increase in age to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Day
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