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Courts and Crime

New Maine Law Removes Statute Of Limitations To Civil Claims On Childhood Sexual Abuse

Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law a bill that removes the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse, allowing them to pursue civil claims against their abusers. Until now, civil remedies could only be pursued for abuse dating back to 1987. Attorney Michael Bigos, who represents victims of sexual abuse in litigation involving the Boy Scouts of America and other organizations, says the average age of adults who report that they were sexually abused as a child is 52.

"Every year I've turned away dozens of survivors whose claims have expired, and now I expect that some of those will be ready to come forward," Bigos says.

Bigos says those who do come forward will still have to prove their cases in court. The new change in the law is intended to be more reflective of trauma-informed policies.