House Approves Rep. Lawn’s Bill to Extend Time to File Suits for Child Sex Abuse

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State Rep. John Lawn of Watertown.

State Rep. John Lawn of Watertown.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to approve a bill sponsored by Watertown State Rep. John Lawn that will extend the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual assault to bring civil suits against abusers.

The House vote was unanimous on Wednesday. Victims of child sex abuse now have an additional 35 years to file a civil claims against their abusers. They will now be able to do so until the age of 53. The statute of limitations has been three years.

The bill will now be considered by the Senate.

Lawn pushed for the law after being approached by a constituent from Waltham who had been repeatedly raped, and was impregnated, by her godfather when she between the ages of 5 and 15.

The bill also extends the time when a victim “discovered or reasonably should have discovered that an emotional or psychological injury or condition was caused” by sexual abuse from three years to seven years after the victim turns 18.

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