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Cuomo Signs Child Victims Act Into Law

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed the Child Victims Act, which gives survivors of childhood sexual abuse more access to purse their abusers in court.

The bill had languished at the Capitol for years, until Democrats took control of the State Senate from Republicans and joined the Assembly in approving the measure. It extends the statute of limitations to report crimes of childhood sexual abuse from 23 to 28.The limit for civil suits is age 55.  All survivors get a one-year “look back” window to bring civil court cases against those they say abused them.

“Today says nobody is above the law,” Cuomo said. “If you violate the law, we will find out. And you will be punished. ”

Cuomo signed the measure in the newsroom of the New York Daily News, which he credited for championing the issue.

Assembly sponsor Linda Rosenthal told victims gathered for the event that they’ve achieved a milestone, but there’s more ahead,going to court to seek justice.

“Today, the hard work ends,” Rosenthal said. “But for many the hard part begins.”

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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