Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown: Senate Bill 131, $250k Spent to Block Sexual Abuse Bill in California

You'd think that a bill to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to file a lawsuit would be the sort of non-controversial legislation that politicians would rush to champion. Well, you'd be wrong.

A California bill to let a small group of sexual abuse victims bring forward lawsuits has faced intense opposition from the Catholic Church. Senate Bill 131 by State Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, passed the state Senate without a single vote to spare. It now awaits a decision by former Jesuit seminarian Gov. Jerry Brown.

Why would state lawmakers block an effort to aid sexual abuse victims? Money.

Organizations that harbored abusers are fearful that they will be held civilly liable for their role in covering up cases of childhood sexual abuse. Catholic dioceses in California have already paid out $1.2 billion in abuse settlements. Instead of facing a new round of lawsuits and more settlements, the church decided that it was better to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lobbying campaign to block SB 131.

CALIFORNIA

Huffington Post

John Hrabe

Investigative Journalist

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