Child sex abuse statute change heads to Governor’s desk

Lawmakers voted last week on the bill

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

BOSTON (STATE HOUSE) – Legislators on Monday sent to the governor’s desk a bill extending the statute of limitations in civil child sex abuse cases.

House and Senate lawmakers voted last week on the bill (H 4126), which would extend the statute to 35 years after a victim turns 18, up from three years.

Under the bill, an individual could file a lawsuit until he or she turns 53 years old. The bill is also retroactive, allowing individuals who realize later in life that they’ve suffered emotional and psychological harm to file a claim seven years after the realization, up from three years.

Lawmakers also enacted a bill aimed at enhancing access to mental health treatment services (H 3704).

The bill requires health insurers to make utilization review criteria for mental health services publicly available by August 2014, instead of Oct. 2015, the date currently in Chapter 224, the health care cost containment law passed in 2012.

The child sex abuse bill was in the works for years, and easily cleared both branches once a consensus bill was presented.

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