The fix was – and is – in.
Simply put, the Lopez Bill has no window provision, which means institutions – like the Catholic Church and Agudath Israel of America or Yeshiva Torah Temimah – cannot be sued for abuse that occurred outside the statue of limitations.
Because of the extreme difficulty victims have coming forward – it is best to view that difficulty as part of a medical condition caused by the sexual abuse – a moderate extension of the statue of limitations doesn't really address the needs of victims. It also does not significantly contribute to removing sexual predators from the children the rape and abuse.
The Church opposes any bill that has a window. So, it seems, do the haredim who joined with the Church to try to block Markey and then, when that failed, to resurrect Lopez.
It looks like Lopez will pass the Assembly and a like-worded bill will pass the Senate. And then pedophiles and the religious institutions that harbored them can breathe easy again.
Pedophiles should declare today a holiday. So should the Church. So should haredi leaders.
The rest of us should cry.
And then, if we have children in religious schools in NY State, we should withdraw them. Home school your kids if necessary. Move to another state. But don't leave your kids at the mercy of a system that works very hard to protect accused pedophiles but doesn't do much to protect your children.
Child sex abuse bill approved in Assembly
JAMES T. MADORE, Newsday
ALBANY - A bill extending the statute of limitations on lawsuits over future allegations of child sex abuse was approved Tuesday by an Assembly committee.
In an 18-1 vote, the Codes Committee sent the legislation sponsored by Assemb. Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) to the Assembly floor for a vote, which could occur in a few weeks.
The Lopez bill rivals another from Assemb. Margaret M. Markey (D-Maspeth) that also extends the statute of limitations but more controversially establishes a special one-year window for abuse victims to file suit in civil court regardless how long ago the assault occurred.
Many abuse claims against Catholic priests were dismissed because they were made after the current time limit, which is five years after the accuser turns 18.
The Markey bill passed the committee nearly two weeks ago in an 11-8 vote while the Lopez bill failed.
Lopez then amended it to make employers and other third parties liable and waive the 90-day notice of claim requirement for suits against government workers.
"My bill treats public and private schools the same," he said.
Markey contends that her legislation does so as well. It passed the Assembly three times previously, only to die in the then Republican-controlled State Senate.
Still, the Catholic Church and others back Lopez's bill over Markey's. Gov. David A. Paterson also supports Lopez's.