Republican and Democratic state legislatures are trying to revise North Dakota’s statute of limitation laws to open up new windows of time for survivors of child sex abuse to file civil lawsuits against their perpetrators in courts.
North Dakota Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem, began planning when he filed a report this week regarding the current statute of limitation laws, regarding the issue of filing criminal charges against any of the 53 priests named in the Fargo and Bismarck dioceses lists of priests who had serious allegations of child sex abuse.
The alleged abuse occurred between 1950s to the 1980s, and several of the priests named on the lists are deceased. The current law in the state stipulates that the statute of limitations for child sex abuse is 21 years.
Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, Rep. Austin Schauer, R-West Fargo, Sen. Kathy Hogan, D-Fargo, are working on bills to open a two year window of opportunity for expired claims to be filed.