Catholic Church Fights CT Move To Lift Statute Of Limitations On Molestation

Connecticut lawmakers says they are shocked by the Catholic Church’s opposition to a proposed lifting of the statute of limitations on lawsuits for the sexual abuse of minors.

“I’m just so surprised they are opposing this. We certainly had the sense last year that they would not,” Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, said of the bill she proposed that eliminates the limitation on civil suits prospectively. Bills that would have removed any limitation on when a suit could be brought retroactively, aimed to a large extent at the childhood victims of Dr. George Reardon, a former physician at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, failed to go forward in 2009 and 2010. More than 100 lawsuits have been brought against Reardon, who died in 1998, and against St. Francis. Police say more than 50,000 slides of child pornography found in the home where Reardon once lived had belonged to the doctor, who practiced medicine at St. Francis for more than 30 years.

Current Connecticut law permits lawsuits for 30 years after a minor victim’s 18th birthday. One advocate for victims of childhood sexual abuse says that half of her clients come forward after the time limit has expired.

(Tipped by JMG reader Casey)