FINALLY: Child Victims Act Signed Into Law

"Once the truth sees the light of day, it is undeniable." - Andrew Cuomo

February 14, 2019 - 1:24 pm
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NEW YORK (WBEN) -A momentous day for child sex abuse victims in New York State, as the Child Victims Act has finally been signed into law after more than a decade of waiting.

"This is an emotional day for all of us, for different reasons and on different levels, but there is no doubt that this is truly an emotional day; it's been a long, difficult journey," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was speaking at the New York Daily News. "Today reminds us that we can still do good things when all of us does our job to the best of our ability."

RELATED: ATTORNEYS DISCUSS IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE LAW

Personal Injury Attorney Steve Boyd represents several victims of child sex abuse, and he sat down in the WBEN studio with Brian Mazurowski and Susan Rose to discuss some of the immediate ramifications of the law, and what it means for New York overall. Specifically, he talked about the one-year look-back window that aims to help older victims.

"For the very old cases, the clock does not start ticking today, there's a six-month window and then a one-year look-back," said Boyd. "But for every other case, the criminal cases, the statute of limitations is now 28 years, and that's today."

He went further in breaking down the nuances of the different limitations.

"For people who are under the age of 55, the new statute of limitations is 55, so for example, a child abused currently, would have until their 55th birthday to bring a civil case and until their 28th birthday to bring charges to a police organizations or district attorney's office."

In his speech, Cuomo noted that this is a historical day for victims. He thanked journalists for exposing the abuse, and he congratulated lawmakers on having the courage to stand up to powerful institutions.

"For the past 13 years, the bill died in the State Senate - not because people voted against it - but even worse, because they wouldn't bring the bill to the floor," said Cuomo. "This year, with a news senate, the bill came to the floor, it passed unanimously 63-0 because even the Republicans voted for it, because once the truth sees the light of day, it is undeniable."

Politics aside, Cuomo said the main reason the legislation finally passed after so many years was the victims.

"Most of all, we are here today because courageous victims who endured great pain, and great anger, anguish, and great humiliation, had the courage to come forward and tell their story," he said. "This bill brings justice to people who were abused, the bill rights the wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished."

Hear full audio from Cuomo's speech below:

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