Ohio2006 Blog

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Thursday, October 5

Atty Gen: Dann (D) Introduces New Sex Offender Legislation

At a press conference at the Lucas County Common Pleas Court today, State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) announced that he will introduce legislation giving victims of child sexual abuse and other sexually-oriented crimes more time to seek justice from their abusers and those who may have covered-up for them.

The new measure revises the civil statute of limitations for sexually oriented crimes to give victims the same amount of time to file a civil action against sexual predators as a prosecutor would have to bring criminal charges, and gives those abused within the past 35 years a one-time opportunity to sue within one year of the bill’s enactment. Many of the provisions of the bill were originally included in Senate Bill 17, but were stripped out before the bill was passed. State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Dann led the effort to get SB 17 passed in the Ohio Senate.

"I urged the Senate to keep these provisions in SB 17 and I continue to believe that the bill was weakened by their removal," Dann said. "Sexual predators should not be able to escape justice because their victims were too afraid or ashamed to come forward at the time of the abuse or because a powerful institution covered up their crime. This legislation will empower those who have already been victimized and protect children from abusers who have gone undetected and unpunished."

Claudia Vercellotti, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), joined Senator Dann at the press conference. “Until we hold those accountable in positions of leadership who have enabled the cover up, we will never eradicate childhood sexual abuse,” she said.

"The rights and needs of victims, whether they were abused two days ago or two decades ago, should always be at the forefront of any action we take reduce child sexual abuse," Senator Dann said. "This new legislation will ensure that the needs of thousands of victims of abuse in the state are met and that their rights are protected. It is the least we can do for men and women who have suffered at the hands of sexual predators."

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