Denver, Colo., Feb 15, 2023 / 14:10 pm
A Maine judge has upheld a state law that retroactively eliminates the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse lawsuits, though he acknowledged that attorneys for the Catholic Diocese of Portland raised “serious” constitutional concerns in their legal challenge.
Justice Thomas McKeon of Cumberland County Superior Court upheld a 2021 law that allowed retroactive legal claims regarding sexual abuse allegations. He rejected the argument that the new law was unconstitutional because its retroactive changes violated both due process rights and vested rights, though he said it was a “close” case, the Associated Press reported.
Attorneys for the Diocese of Portland had filed a motion to challenge the law. The motion came in the first of the civil lawsuits now allowed under the 2021 law.
McKeon has halted lawsuit proceedings so that attorneys for the diocese may appeal to Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court. They have 21 days to file an appeal.