Guam leader Oks bill ending time limits in child sex cases
HAGATNA — Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said Friday he signed a bill that would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges for civil cases, a move that Catholic leaders say could bankrupt the church in the largely Catholic U.S. territory.
The bill, which does not apply to criminal prosecutions, was approved by the Legislature after abuse allegations surfaced against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
Church leaders say lifting the statute of limitations would subject the church to unlimited financial liability, forcing the closure of parish churches and schools on the island where more than three quarters of Guam’s 162,000 residents are Roman Catholics.
Calvo acknowledged in an open letter to the people of Guam that he wasn’t sure if the measure’s retroactive application could withstand a legal challenge.
1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That
The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.
9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.
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