Senate votes to ease sex abuse statute of limitations

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Senate has voted in favor of legislation to ease restrictions on when childhood sexual abuse victims can seek damages in court.

The Democrat-led Senate approved the measure Thursday 32-1, sending it to the Democrat-controlled Assembly. The legislation would allow child victims to sue up until they turn 55 or within seven years of their first realization that the abuse caused them harm. The current limit is two years. Adult victims also would have seven years from the discovery of the abuse. The bill also would give a two-year window to victims who were previously barred by the statute of limitations. The measure is moving ahead despite opposition from the state’s Catholic Conference, which has said it wants to push the implementation date in December back.