Bill spurred by Nassar case concerns Catholic Church

Photo Courtesy of Dave Marvin

A bill is pending in the Michigan Senate, and if passed, it will extend the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims to report the crime or sue their abusers. Olympic gymnast, Jordyn Wieber, who, along with 250 other victims accused Larry Nasser of sexual abuse while he was a sports physician, introduced the legislation.

Currently under Michigan law, people who are sexually abused as children have until their 19th birthday to sue. Under the pending legislation, child victims abused in 1993 or later have until their 48th birthday to sue. Adult assault victims would have thirty years to file a claim from the time of the abuse.

David Maluchnik, a spokesperson for the Michigan Catholic Conference confirmed that the extension of the statute of limitations is “of concern” to the church. Otherwise, the church fully supports the remaining measures in the full bill, including one adding additional people to the list of those who must report suspected cases of child abuse to protective services.

Kimberly Buddin, an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan issued a statement indicating: “There are constitutional implications on the retroactivity on the statute of limitations. This makes illegal an act which was legal when it was committed.  And the Supreme Court has held that increasing statute of limitations retroactively is a violation.”

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