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Court Upholds Longer Time For Sex Abuse Victims To File Suits

This article is more than 3 years old.

Massachusetts's highest court has upheld a law extending the length of time sexual abuse victims have to file lawsuits against their alleged perpetrators.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday in the case of a woman who sued her uncle in 2012, alleging he sexually abused her repeatedly between 1968 and 1977, beginning when she was five years old.

The state Legislature amended the law in 2014 to extend the statute of limitations for civil cases alleging sexual abuse of a minor from three years to 35 years and allowed it to be applied retroactively.

The woman's lawsuit had been dismissed.

The SJC said the amended law recognizes that in many cases, victims are not able to appreciate the extent of harm caused to them until years after the abuse ended.

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