Governor signs bill extending statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases
PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) - Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill Monday that would give Rhode Island child sex abuse victims up to 35 years to sue their abusers.
That is five times longer than victims had in the past.
This will give victims like Pasco Troia a better chance of getting justice.
"When I was 11 years old I was molested by a Roman Catholic Preist," Troia said. "I'm in my 60's now and it took me this long to get completely healed."
Troia said this happened in Cranston at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Since then, he started a group called "Survivors speak R.I.", to raise awareness about child sex abuse.
"It's amazing how it destroys and rips people's souls," Troia said. "Tonight, to be here and acknowledge we made it this far is exciting."
Until now, victims had 7 years to sue their abusers and only 3 to sue institutions that shielded them.
This new bill brings that up to 35 years for both.
Sarah Klein, a victim that was at the bill signing ceremony, said it is important for people like her to speak out years after they were abused.
"I am one of the first known victims of former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar," Klein said. "I was 38 years old when I saw an article about him being a sexual predator and at that point, I was Ivy League graduate and a lawyer. I still had not recognized or come to terms that the man I loved and trusted and considered family, was actually abusing me and not treating me."
Governor Raimondo said the bill is to prevent abuse in the future and support courageous victims that have come forward.
©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2019