SACRAMENTO -- After failing to muster enough support last week, a bill that would give some sex-abuse victims more time to file lawsuits advanced in an Assembly committee Wednesday.
SB 131, sponsored by Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), would lift the statute of limitations for one year to enable some victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue private or nonprofit employers that failed to protect them from known molesters.
The Catholic Church has fiercely lobbied against the measure, saying a flood of new suits could cripple the church economically, forcing parochial schools to close.
At an emotional hearing of the Assembly Appropriations committee last week, victims told stories of grappling with their abuse for decades after it occurred. Supporters of the measure say that because some victims can take years to acknowledge they were molested, they need more time to file lawsuits.