Washington Archdiocese Attempting to Overturn Maryland Child Victims Law


The Archdiocese of Washington is seeking to challenge a Maryland law that removed time limits on when survivors of sex abuse could take legal action.

Depending on the ruling regarding the motion challenging the constitutionality of Maryland’s Child Victims Act, which took effect on Oct. 1, the timeline for survivors of childhood sexual abuse seeking to take legal action against their offenders and the institutions that helped to shelter them could change, according to The Washington Post.

Under the Child Victims Act, all statutes of limitations for lawsuits regarding child sexual abuse are removed.

“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is asserting its legal defenses in the cases filed against it,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “We remain committed, however, to our longstanding efforts to bring healing to survivors through pastoral care and other forms of assistance that are available apart from the legal process.”

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The Archdiocese of Washington, which is headquartered in Maryland, consists of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties, according to the outlet.

“We are also committed to maintaining our robust safe environment policies that have been in place for decades to ensure the protection of all those who are entrusted to our care,” the statement from the Archdiocese of Washington continued.

Maryland lawmakers such as Attorney General Anthony G. Brown (D) reportedly foresaw challenges to the Child Victims Act. Due to this, the General Assembly added a provision that would fast-track challenges regarding the constitutionality of the law to the Maryland Supreme Court, according to the outlet.

“As I advised the General Assembly during the 2023 session, I can, in good faith, defend the constitutionality of the Child Victims Act, pursuant to the authorities and opportunities presented under Maryland law, and will do so,” Brown said in a statement.

Should there be a statute of limitations on lawsuits regarding childhood sexual abuse?

IJR reached out to the Archdiocese of Washington for a statement but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

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