OU ‘not opposed’ to N.Y. abuse legislation


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Orthodox Union is not opposed to a New York State bill that would expand the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims.

In a statement, the group said it "generally supports the expansion of the statute of limitations to enable victims of sexual abuse to pursue legal claims" and is "not opposed to this legislation."

The Catholic Church, which could be subject to a wave of lawsuits due to the change, is opposed to the Legislature’s bill.

With recent reports of alleged sexual abuse by rabbis in some New York Orthodox communities, the legislation could have ramifications in the Jewish world as well. The New York Times reported last week that some Chasidic and Sephardic leaders in Brooklyn have been lobbying against the bill. Agudath Israel of America, a fervently Orthodox group, says it is still studying the issue.

The legislation would allow anyone claiming they were sexually abused as children a one-year exemption from the statute of limitations from the date of the bill’s enactment — meaning they could file a civil suit no matter when the alleged abuse occurred. After that one year, the statute of limitations for civil suits would be extended to 10 years after an alleged victim turns 18 from five years.

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