“They have struggled in ways you can’t imagine,” says
an attorney representing an unspecified number of brothers, who are all
now adults, and are said to have been victimized – suffered
sexual abuse and child molestation – at the hands of a Catholic priest when they were boys.
“These are people whose lives suffered,” says the attorney.
But, at the same time, the judge is not so sure that these brothers can
bring their claims so late in the game – claims against third parties
– those who knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it.
At issue is the huge lapse of time: the abuse is alleged to have occurred
in the 1970s, as Maura Dolan reports for the Los Angeles Times, and yet
the brothers are only now bringing their claims to court.
There is a three-year statute of limitations (in this California case)
once an alleged victim realizes that his or her mental health issues were
caused by sexual abuse.
The case seems to be more about legal deadlines than it is about suing
third parties in sex crimes cases. If the case survives legal review and
is allowed to proceed, only then will the court get into the issue of
whether third parties should take some sort of blame for failing to stop abuse.