Bill would lift statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases

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Under Minnesota law, adults seeking civil damages for sexual abuse that occurred when they were children must file a lawsuit within six years after their 18th birthday, but a group of lawmakers want to change that.

The Associated Press reports a bipartisan legislation unveiled Wednesday would eliminate the statute of limitations in civil cases relating to child sexual abuse.

A bill sponsor, Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, says victims often take many years to process what happened to them. If the bill is passed, civil claims could be filed against perpetrators no matter how much time has lapsed.

Opponents to similar measures include the Catholic Church, the New York Times says. The church claims it's difficult to get reliable evidence when decades have passed, but also fears lifting the restrictions would prompt a wave of victims to come forward, bankrupting the church.

According to the report, the church has spent $2.5 billion on legal fees, settlements and prevention programs relating to child sexual abuse.

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