New York May Ease Statute of Limitations for Decades-Old Child Sex Abuse Claims

Bill Would Ease Path to Court for Yeshiva U. Victims


By Paul Berger

Published March 07, 2013, issue of March 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

Blau, a spiritual adviser at Y.U. since the late 1970s, said that many victims take decades to come forward, finding the courage to speak out only after they have been in therapy, or once they have the support of a spouse. “It is clear to me that the statute of limitations… eliminates a large number… of people who cannot come forward [earlier],” Blau said.

He added: “I’ve been involved in this issue for a long period of time, and I certainly don’t think I should stop being involved because there’s a problem now at Yeshiva [University].”

A spokesman for Y.U. declined to comment on the institution’s view of the Child Victims Act. But, he added, “Yeshiva University faculty have the academic freedom to teach, discuss, research, publish or pursue any topics as they see fit.”

The New York State legislation was introduced by Markey, a Queens Democrat, last fall. Earlier versions of the bill have passed the state assembly four times, only to meet staunch opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where they have been blocked from coming to the floor for a vote.

Last year, following a tightly contested election, Republicans were able to cling to control of the Senate only by forming a pact with a handful of Democrats. One of those Democrats, Jeffrey Klein, supports extending the statute of limitations but only for criminal charges.

“I don’t believe that exposing religious institutions to open-ended, never ending, and potentially devastating civil liability is a smart approach,” Klein said. “Instead, I think we should give victims a better opportunity to pursue criminal charges against the individuals who commit these crimes.”

Evan Stavisky, a partner at the political consulting firm The Parkside Group, said that the Senate now passes relatively few items of controversial legislation, because of the political instability of its current, closely divided membership. Stavisky noted that the Senate passed gun control legislation in January and that, in the coming months, it is set to weigh reproductive health and minimum-wage legislation. “But certainly there is great support [for the Child Victims Act], so you can’t rule it dead until the session is over,” Stavisky said.

The bill’s chances would improve dramatically if New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo were to throw his support behind it. A spokesman for Cuomo did not respond to a call for comment.

Like its earlier versions, the Child Victims Act proposes a one-year window for victims to bring retroactive claims of abuse. Although previous versions of the act extended the statute of limitations by only five years the current version abolishes the statute entirely.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.