Experts: Wuerl, Zubik Could Have Legal Exposure After Grand Jury Report on Abuse

The time lag and related legal hurdles are sparking national debate over how best to hold abusers, and their enablers, accountable. Some urge eliminating statutes of limitations on prosecuting crimes that were systematically concealed. Others contend the legal system already allows consequences for long-ago abuse and cover-ups. [ . . . ] Clergy are among those required to tell public authorities about known or suspected child abuse. But the mandate wasn’t as explicit before amendments made in 2012 to a state law, said Jonathan Kurland, an attorney adviser with AEquitas, a legal advisory group in Washington, D.C. Depending on how legislation takes shape, the General Assembly could grant survivors a two-year window to bring civil litigation against attackers and their enablers, no matter when the abuse happened. Lawmakers also are weighing whether to scrub the statute of limitations on criminal charges, which now must be filed by the time a victim is 50 years old.