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Child Victims Act Extends Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Survivors

The Child Victims Act, which is a bill that will extend the statute of limitations to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice against their abuser, is expected to pass both houses of New York State’s legislature on Monday.

Final details on all the provisions within the Child Victims Act will be available sometime after the state legislature’s vote. However, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement had been reached on the bill, Maryalice Demler of WGRZ Channel 2 interviewed attorney Barry Covert to discuss specific components that will be included in the Child Victims Act. Click the video below to watch the the full interview.  Some of components discussed include:

Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Victims

Under the current statute of limitations in New York State, individuals who were the victim of a sex crime as a child only have until the age of 23 to pursue criminal charges or a civil claim against their abuser. When the Child Victims Act is signed in to law, survivors of childhood sexual abuse will have until the age of 28 to file criminal charges against their abuser and until the age of 55 to pursue a civil lawsuit.

One Year Look-Back Window for Survivors Past the Statute of Limitations

With the passage of the Child Victims Act, New York will become the 49th state in the country to extend the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. The Child Victims Act will include a one year “look-back window”, which will allow victims of any age to pursue a civil lawsuit against their abuser. This provision will give victims, including those who are beyond the ages stated in the statute of limitations, a one-year window to seek justice against their abuser.
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Gov. Cuomo’s Proposed Child Victims Act Could Help Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Seek Justice

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2019 ‘State of the State’ address on Tuesday, January 15th. One of the items Gov. Cuomo discussed in his address was a proposed law known as the Child Victims Act, which was created to afford more time to victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice.

WIVB News 4 recently aired a report detailing the potential impact of the Child Victims Act. Attorney Barry Covert, who represents several survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic Priests, was interviewed by WIVB for their report.

The Child Victims Act is legislation that has been subject to debate among New York State lawmakers for several years. Under current New York State law, an individual who was the victim of a sex crime as a minor is only able to pursue criminal charges and civil claims against their abuser until they are 23 years of age. The Child Victims Act would expand the limits that abuse victims face to pursue justice in the criminal and civil courts of New York State.

As reported by WIVB, different versions of the Child Victims Act have been proposed over the years with varying provisions. While the exact provisions of the most recent version of the legislation are still under discussion, three provisions that are reportedly part of the latest legislation are:

  • Extending the statute of limitations from the age of 23 to the age of 28 for child sexual abuse victims to file criminal charges against their abuser;
  • Extending the age limit from 23 years old to 50 years old for child sexual abuse victims to file suit against their abuser in civil court; and
  • Establishing a one year window for child sexual abuse victim to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser, no matter how many years have passed since the abuse took place.

Click below to watch WIVB’s full report on the Child Victims Act, including perspective from attorney Barry Covert.

If you have questions about the legal rights of sexual abuse survivors or if you have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, click here to contact Barry Covert.

The NIH and FBI Launch Investigation Into Undisclosed Influence of Foreign Entities on Domestically Funded Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are teaming up to investigate the veiled influence of foreign entities that are involved with United States domestic research. The implications could be vast; with the potential to dismantle research projects and lead to significant civil and/or criminal investigations.

The NIH and FBI are acting upon the suspicion that foreign entities are covertly funding and coordinating with domestically funded research; thereby obtaining confidential grant application information, shaping research funding decisions, duplicating our studies, usurping our findings and intellectual property, as well as perhaps illegally collecting state secrets and classified scientific information.


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