Many states limit the power of survivors to seek civil justice in child sex abuse cases, and Texas is little different. While there are no limitations on the criminal statutes involved, the victims involved have just five years to file a civil suit. Many are calling for reform, as demonstrated by a recent editorial in the Houston Chronicle.
Not An Isolated Incident
The need for this reform comes as international search efforts are building for a Dallas priest who molested three teenage boys. He is believed to have left for his home country, the Philippines, to escape charges. The priest, Father Edmundo Paredes, served as pastor of the St. Cecilia Catholic Church for 27 years. In February, the Diocese of Dallas notified police that he was suspected of child sex abuse. Unfortunately, however, parishioners did not find out until last week, a delay that only fueled the fire of concerns about the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse cases.
Groups like the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests are lobbying to get more states to lift limitations, both civil and criminal, on child sex abuse cases while other groups, particularly those that have experienced sex abuse case filings in the past like the Boy Scouts, are working to ensure that doesn’t happen. These groups are concerned about financial ruin, as has happened in many dioceses across the country.
Whether Texas decides on a legal shift either on a permanent or temporary basis remains to be seen. Some states have opened a small window for victims to file suit against accusers, but either way, many are calling for justice in Texas sex abuse cases to ensure the right message is sent to pedophile priests and other potential abusers.
If you or someone you know has suffered in a sexual abuse case at the hands of an individual or organization, reach out for help and justice today when you contact Paul Mones.