By Molly Crane Newmanand Kenneth Lovett
January 2, 2018
Advocates for child sex abuse victims in New York City and Albany Tuesday made a last-minute plea to Gov. Cuomo to prioritize passage of a bill to help victims seek justice as adults.
The two sets of advocates in separate news conferences called on Cuomo to include the Child Victims Act in his State of the State address set to be delivered Wednesday afternoon and in his upcoming 2018-19 state budget proposal.
“Gov. Cuomo, we are looking to you for your leadership to move this forward,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said at an event in front of the Fearless Girl statue in the Financial District with other elected officials, sex abuse survivors and religious leaders.
“I believe this year, thanks to the work that’s been done by all the people around me and behind me, that this is the year it will happen,” Vance said.
Up in Albany, a different group of advocates led by investor Gary Greenberg, who was sexually abused as a kid in the mid-1960s, said Cuomo this year must do more than just say he backs the bill.
“For the last seven years, this governor has not been able to, even though we believe he has the influence and the power as governor, to get a bill passed through the Legislature that would provide justice and give healing to victims. He has not done that.” Greenberg said.
“The governor needs to send a message (Wednesday) to the Senate that he wants the Child Victims Act passed … and he wants to be able to sign a law that will finally give justice to victims and take predators off the street.”
The Child Victims Act would extend the timeframe a victim has to bring a civil or criminal case against his or her abuser.
The State Assembly has passed a version of the bill several times over the past 12 years, including in 2017, but it failed to get past the Republican-controlled Senate.
The bill passed last year, which was supported by Cuomo, would allow survivors to bring civil cases up until their 50th birthdays and felony criminal cases until their 28th birthdays.