New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law Thursday long-sought legislation that gives the victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to seek criminal charges or file lawsuits against their abusers.
The law known as the Child Victims Act loosens one of the nation’s tightest statutes of limitations on molestation cases. It also creates a one-year litigation window for victims to file lawsuits.
The legislation was blocked for the past decade by Republicans who controlled the state Senate. Democrats took control of the chamber in the November elections, and the Senate and Democrat-controlled Assembly approved the legislation Jan. 28.
Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the Child Victims Act in the Manhattan newsroom of the Daily News. The paper published more than 200 stories on the issue along with numerous editorials in favor of the legislation’s passage.
Cuomo praised the newspaper and the state lawmakers who pushed for the legislation. He especially hailed the victims who went public with their stories of being sexually abused and trekked to Albany year after year to advocate for the measure’s passage.