Child sex abuse victims would get more time to sue

Victims of childhood sexual abuse would have additional time in Georgia to seek damages from their abusers, under a bill passed unanimously Tuesday by the Senate.

House Bill 17 would for the next two years extend the statute of limitations for civil suits for anyone who was sexually abused before the age of 18, allowing past victims to seek damages if they have not yet come forward.

The bill would apply to victims of rape, sodomy, child molestation, pandering, incest or sexual battery.

Finally, victims of childhood sexual abuse would have access to records of any investigation related to the case.

The bill does not, however, permanently extend the statute of limitations for civil suits from five years to 35 years, which the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, originally proposed. The Senate also made other amendments on the floor.

Because those changes, the bill now goes back to the House for review.

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