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Lawmakers introduce Child Victims Act

November 23, 2011

The following story aired on WKOW ABC News in Madison on November 22, 2011.

Two state lawmakers introduced legislation to reform Wisconsin’s child abuse laws.

Legislation by Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) and Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) would remove the statute of limitations on future childhood sex abuse cases. Under current law, victims must sue before they’re 35 years old.

“These arbitrary deadlines do more than just rob victims of their day in court. It endangers every child in our community because it decreases the likelihood that people who prey sexually on children will be identified and stopped,” Lassa said at a Tuesday news conference.

Paul Demcak, a child abuse survivor, spoke out in favor of the legislation. “It’s way too long that these issues have been swept under the carpet, ” Demcak said. “As long as they are swept under the carpet, this will continue to happen.”

The bill is modeled after successful legislation in two states, California and Delaware, that holds offenders financially acceptable for their crimes.

Opponents counter the bill is about generating money for victims’ attorneys.


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