Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week to extend the current deadline for adult Victims of child sex abuse to file lawsuits against their abusers.
The New York Child Victims Act which was passed August 14, 2019, had opened up a one year window for sex abuse survivors to bring claims against perpetrators in cases that had already exceeded the statute of limitations.
The deadline would have expired August 13th of this year. The new law, signed in Monday, expands the date one more year to Aug. 14, 2021.
The bill was signed after Cuomo received pressure from sex abuse survivors and advocates pushing lawmakers to introduce a bill requesting additional time, considering many cases were filed after the courts stopped taking new cases in March due to COVID.
“The Child Victims Act brought a long-needed pathway to justice for people who were abused, and helps right wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for far too long and we cannot let this pandemic limit the ability for survivors to have their day in court,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“As New York continues to reopen and recover from a public health crisis, extending the look back window is the right thing to do and will help ensure that abusers and those who enabled them are held accountable.”
Jeff Herman, of Herman Law, which only focuses on sex abuse cases, has handled 750 sex abuse cases since this CVA ha been passed, said, “The CVA extension is an important Bill recognizing the impact Covid has had on an already vulnerable population. I’ve heard from many survivors who are dealing with the ramifications of Covid and therefore not in a position to focus on seeking justice for the horrific acts of sexual abuse that occurred to them as children,”
“It’s a win-win for everybody who cares about protecting children,” he added.