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Bill On Childhood Sex Abuse Cases Fails

February 6, 2012, 1:47 PM

PIERRE, SD - A House committee will not push forward a bill that removes time limits on a victim's ability to open a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator or institution involved in childhood sexual abuse.

Rep. Steve Hickey, a Sioux Falls Republican, says the measure counters a 2010 law that enforces the statute of limitations in which victims over 40 can't sue any person or institution beyond the perpetrator.

It also allows civil action up until three years from when the abuse took place or three years from the time the victim discovered the injuries caused by the abuse.

Supporters say victims take years to come forward and don't try to "game the system." Some opponents say religious institutions become targets of these lawsuits, and question memories of decades past.

Lawmakers voted 9-4.

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