Thursday, February 24, 2011

Statute of limitations
Va extends sexual abuse suit deadline to 20 years

Associated Press - February 24, 2011 2:05 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The General Assembly has given final passage to legislation extending from two years to 20 the time allowed for sexual abuse victims to sue their attackers.

The measure, which evoked victims' tearful and wrenching testimony before legislative committees, passed Thursday in a group of uncontested bills with little debate.

The bill doesn't affect the lifetime limit for criminal prosecutions of sexual predators.

Initially, the measure would have extended the limit from two years to 25. After emotional hearings on the measure, legislators rejected an effort to shorten it to eight years and set it at 20 years.

The Roman Catholic Church lobbied for a shorter lawsuit deadline because of priest sex scandals that have provoked lawsuits nationwide.

The bill now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is Catholic.

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