Bill to help victims of sexual abuse sue perpetrator

There is a new bill floating around Lansing that seeks to extend the age limit that a victim of sexual abuse can sue the perpetrator.

â??All the bill does is extend the statute of limitations for civil action against the perpetrator of criminal sexual child abuse for 10 years after they reach maturity,â?? said State Rep. Mark Meadows, D â?? East Lansing.

Right now, victims in the state of Michigan are unable to sue after the age of 19.

That limit would be pushed back to 28.

Lawmakers said they got the idea after watching events unfold at Penn State.

â??It was motivated mostly by what happened at Penn State University. If the incident at Penn State had happened at the University of Michigan...about half of those victims would not have been able to bring suit against the perpetrator,â?? said Meadows.

7&4 News wanted to know what local attorneys think about the idea.

Former county prosecutor Clarence Gomery said he supports the bill.

â??In Michigan, obviously lawmakers have found that this is a place victims can't get any recourse, any kind of damages, money damages, from employers or someone responsible,â?? said Gomery.

In House Bill 5399, Meadows said he wants to punish institutions that donâ??t act while rewarding others who take swift action against sexual abuse.

â??If they act immediately to remove them from contact with kids and report the matter to the police agency right away, then they could not be sued under this circumstance. so we are trying to cover all the bases,â?? Meadows said.

House Bill 5399 was introduced on Thursday, February 9.

It currently sits in judicial review.