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State Democrats again pursue Child Victims Act after recent release on abusive priests

by
Church abuse graphic.
Church abuse graphic.

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - With the Milwaukee Catholic sex abuse scandal fresh in people’s minds, state Democrats are trying for a third time to make it easier for victims to sue their abusers.

The Child Victims Act failed to pass in the 2009 session, when Democrats controlled the Legislature and the governor’s office – and it also failed to two years later, when Republicans first took over of the Capitol.

Now, Senate Democrat Julie Lassa of Stevens Point and Assembly Democrat Sandy Pasch of Shorewood are bringing it back.

The new measure would create a two-year exemption to the law, which currently gives child sex offenders until age 35 to sue their perpetrators.

Supporters of the bill say childhood sex victims need years to come to grips with what happened to them – and more than what the state gives them.

The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese has opposed the bill in the past, and vows to do so again. Thousands of documents were released this week which showed the extent of sex abuse by priests in the archdiocese over the past 80 years.

Lassa calls it quote, “another tragic reminder that sexual predators, if given the opportunity, will continue to seek out new victims.”

She says child molesters often victimize children into their 60’s.

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