State Sen. Marc Panepinto, D-60, along with childhood sexual abuse victims Vanessa DeRosa and Tino Flores, and their attorneys, came together Friday to call for the complete repeal of New York's statute-of-limitations for sexual offenses against minors. Panepinto highlighted his two pieces of co-sponsored legislation that aim to remedy this legal problem and bring reform to the justice system.
"It is unnerving and, frankly, frightening that a victim of childhood sexual abuse can be told that it is too late to bring a claim against their abuser in a court of law," Panepinto said. "But that is the unfortunate reality in New York state, where the heinous crimes of sexual predators and abusers are shielded behind the law's archaic statute-of-limitations code.
"The two Senate bills that I have co-sponsored aim to fix this wrong by completely repealing the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against minors. As the newest member of the Senate codes committee, I will advocate tirelessly to ensure this critical legislation is brought before the full Senate for a vote. Mr. Flores, Ms. DeRosa, and the countless other victims throughout our state deserve nothing less."
Attorney Diane Tiveron of HoganWillig, the law firm representing Flores and DeRosa, said, "We want to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Sen. Marc Panepinto and his office in taking this bold step to effectuate a change in the statute of limitations associated with victims of abuse and the constraints they face in bringing their abusers to justice. We also want to thank all the brave people who have contacted our office after our press conference last week and conveyed their individual and personal stories of unpunished abuse. Our clients, Tino Flores and Vanessa DeRosa, are pleased that their efforts may finally right a wrong that has caused irreparable pain to countless people.
"We pledge to support our legislators and Sen. Panepinto as they push for this much-needed change in New York state law and will also continue with our efforts to work with the church, the pope and their counsel in bringing closure to all those affected by the abuses such as those suffered by Mr. Flores and Ms. DeRosa."