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Bill Would Grant More Time For Sex Abuse Lawsuits

This article is more than 6 years old.

The Massachusetts House has approved a bill to extend by more than 30 years the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sex abuse to file lawsuits against their alleged attackers or the institutions that employed them.

The measure passed Wednesday on a unanimous vote and now goes to the Senate.

Current state law only gives victims until age 21 to file civil actions against alleged abusers. The bill would raise that age up to 53.

The proposal would also increase from three years to seven years the period in which a lawsuit can be filed after the recovery of so-called repressed memories of childhood abuse.

State Rep. John Lawn, a Watertown Democrat who sponsored the bill, said it strikes a balance between the rights of victims and those of defendants.

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