Advocates Continue to Press Senators to Pass the Child Victims Act

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - For the second week in a row, victims along with local officials are asking senators to pass a bill that will help victims of sexual abuse press charges against their attackers.

The conference says they’ve supported legislation in previous years that protects children from sexual predators.

Both victims and local officials are still asking why the Senate has yet to take up a bill that would increase the time a victim has to file both criminal and civil lawsuits against their attacker.

“It doesn’t give justice to the victim and it doesn’t keep the rest of us safe,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.

“The Republican majority conference has been a leader in taking a lead with those who prey on young people and sexual predators. I don’t know why this hasn’t passed,” Senator Fred Akshar said.

While Sen. Akshar stands behind the Senate’s position, this Republican argues the current bill could create a log jam in court.

“We want to make sure that the victims are the ones who see justice rather than opening up the floodgates. Do you think it’s opening too many lawsuits the way it’s written right now, yeah, well that’s we’re reviewing,” Senator James Seward said.

Others argue what if the accuser is no longer alive? Then you’re going after an agency and not the attacker themselves.

“Because you can go back 40, 50, years the person may not even be alive and you basically are going to be suing the school district or the churches and the synagogues,” Senator Betty Little said.

Not all are undecided. Senator Jim Tedisco says he’d be a yes vote today if this came to the floor.

“The leaders have to sit down and negotiate that with the leadership with other members and we should get it done before we leave,” Senator James Tedisco said.

Right now, advocates stand behind the Assembly’s version but would be open to changes if it means passing some form of the Child Victims Act.


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