Providence, R.I., Mar 3, 2021 / 20:01 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Diocese of Providence is refusing to comment on a bill that would provide increased opportunities for victims of child sexual abuse to sue people and entities which enabled their abuse.
The bill, which was introduced to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in February, would expand the definition of a “perpetrator” in a 2019 piece of legislation known as “Annie’s Law.”
“Annie’s Law” changed the statute of limitations for filing suits related to child sexual abuse from seven years to 35 years after the abuse victim’s 18th birthday.
Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-South Kingstown), whose sister, Annie, for whom the 2019 bill was named, was abused by a priest as a child, is the sponsor of the bill.
The bill would name a “perpetrator” as not only the person who committed the crime, but institutions as well, if there was a cover-up of the abuse. Similar bills have passed in other states, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits against institutions, including Catholic dioceses, the Boy Scouts, and other entities.