Child Victims Act earns unanimous Senate support, goes to governor

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The state Senate passed a bill that would lift the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims in a 66-0 vote Wednesday, MPR reports.

Under current Minnesota law, adults seeking civil damages for sexual abuse when they were children must file suit before the age of 24. The Child Victims Act would allow claims to be filed against perpetrators no matter how much time has passed.

The Pioneer Press says the proposed legislation would retain the six-year limit to file a civil action for victims who were sexually abused at the age of 18 or older.

The Minnesota House approved a companion bill 115-7 to earlier this month.

Katharine Tinucci, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Dayton, tells MPR that she expects the governor will sign the measure.

If signed into the law, Minnesota would become the fifth state in recent years to wipe out limitations on the civil end, according to the Pioneer Press.

Similar measures are being proposed around the country. The Boston Herald reports those skeptical of raising the statute of limitations say the long passages of time, scarcity of witnesses and sometimes vague recollections of events can make it difficult for the accused to get a fair hearing.

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