SNAP of Tennessee

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee 

Advocates for victims of abuse seek reforms

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Stung because court decisions have ended most Hamilton County cases alleging priest sex abuse before they can be prosecuted, advocates for the victims want to change the law.

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a support groups for victims, called for support for new legislation that would extend or eliminate the statute of limitations.

Ohio's law now usually gives victims only until they turn age 20 to expose the abusers, not enough time for children victims of abuse to realize what has happened to them, deal with it and report it.

Specifically, SNAP is advocating for a law change that allows for a two-year time frame "in which the statute of limitations may not be asserted as a defense."

The suggested change comes as civil suits filed in Hamilton County alleging priest sex abuse are pending or have been thrown out because they were filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations.

In November 2003, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, representing the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, pleaded no contest to failing to report allegations of priest sex abuse as part of a plea deal.

The Archdiocese was convicted and paid a $10,000 fine as well as set up a $3 million fund to compensate the victims of church sex abuse.

A three-judge panel continues to review the approximately 130 claims made for the fund.