California Proposes Double-Standard Favoring Government Child-Molesters

Liberals tirelessly push to establish two classes in America -- not rich and poor, but government and governed.

The latest example of this is SB 131 in California, which is supposed to help children who were sexually molested but which is actually, or at least appears to be, a payoff to the trial lawyers of California.

The bill would enact yet another retrospective repeal of the statute of limitations for lawsuits against organizations that employed molesters.  While that might seem to be a good idea, there are a two major problems.

The first is that when someone is accused of having molesting a child 30 or 40 years ago, it's nearly impossible to find witnesses or any sort of evidence.  But because of the natural sympathy people have for children who have been raped, civil suits, where the only evidence is the accuser's word, have a good chance of resulting in a lucrative settlement due to an organization's desire to avoid bad publicity

It's well-known that some unscrupulous people view the Catholic Church and other private institutions as great targets for bogus lawsuits.  We know that there have been monsters who want to make money by defaming private institutions.  In one famous case, a man accused Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago of having molested him.  But the man publically recanted later.  That doesn't mean that many of the claims aren't valid, but in California, there's already a huge window of opportunity to sue molesters.

Any Californian can sue for molestation that occurred prior to his 18th birthday up until his 26th birthday.  Further, if someone's memories of molestation have been suppressed, he can start a suit within three years of discovering that he had been molested.  Back in 2003, California also opened a new window to allow suits that would not be viable due to the statute of limitations.  In addition, the statute is waived if the institution being sued knew of the abuse.

The question is, how many people were abused as children and remembered it but couldn't by their 26th birthday decide to do something about it?  If that number is small, then it's likely that a lot of the lawsuits against private institutions that will be brought if this law is passes will be based on fraud.

Ensuring that children who were molested get justice is an important and honorable goal, but extending the period for which institutions that employed molesters -- even if there is no evidence the institutions knew of the monsters' actions -- can be sued, without changing the rules for prosecuting the actual molesters, may not be the best way to achieve that goal.  For example, having sex with a child between 11 and 14 years of age will result in only a 3- to 8-year sentence -- which can be dramatically reduced, as we know all too well.  Upping that penalty so that child-molesters are kept off the street longer might do more to prevent child molestation than letting victims sue organizations which didn't even know of the predators' actions will.

The second problem -- and a much graver one -- is that the law applies only to private institutions.  This means that if someone was molested by a public school teacher or a state assemblyman, he is out of luck.  Given that 90% of children go to public schools, this seems to be a glaring omission.

This is another example of one set of rules for the governed and another for the government.  If a YMCA employee molests a child, liberals want the YMCA to be on the hook essentially forever, but if a public school teacher molests a child, liberals don't want the government to have to pay the child a red cent unless the statute of limitations is met.

Clearly Democrat politicians don't think the law is a good idea, because they are ensuring that it doesn't apply to the government they're responsible for.

If California Democrats really want to help the victims of child molestation, then they should toughen the punishment for such crimes and make the bill apply to all organizations instead of shielding the government.

You can read more of Tom's rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

Liberals tirelessly push to establish two classes in America -- not rich and poor, but government and governed.

The latest example of this is SB 131 in California, which is supposed to help children who were sexually molested but which is actually, or at least appears to be, a payoff to the trial lawyers of California.

The bill would enact yet another retrospective repeal of the statute of limitations for lawsuits against organizations that employed molesters.  While that might seem to be a good idea, there are a two major problems.

The first is that when someone is accused of having molesting a child 30 or 40 years ago, it's nearly impossible to find witnesses or any sort of evidence.  But because of the natural sympathy people have for children who have been raped, civil suits, where the only evidence is the accuser's word, have a good chance of resulting in a lucrative settlement due to an organization's desire to avoid bad publicity

It's well-known that some unscrupulous people view the Catholic Church and other private institutions as great targets for bogus lawsuits.  We know that there have been monsters who want to make money by defaming private institutions.  In one famous case, a man accused Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago of having molested him.  But the man publically recanted later.  That doesn't mean that many of the claims aren't valid, but in California, there's already a huge window of opportunity to sue molesters.

Any Californian can sue for molestation that occurred prior to his 18th birthday up until his 26th birthday.  Further, if someone's memories of molestation have been suppressed, he can start a suit within three years of discovering that he had been molested.  Back in 2003, California also opened a new window to allow suits that would not be viable due to the statute of limitations.  In addition, the statute is waived if the institution being sued knew of the abuse.

The question is, how many people were abused as children and remembered it but couldn't by their 26th birthday decide to do something about it?  If that number is small, then it's likely that a lot of the lawsuits against private institutions that will be brought if this law is passes will be based on fraud.

Ensuring that children who were molested get justice is an important and honorable goal, but extending the period for which institutions that employed molesters -- even if there is no evidence the institutions knew of the monsters' actions -- can be sued, without changing the rules for prosecuting the actual molesters, may not be the best way to achieve that goal.  For example, having sex with a child between 11 and 14 years of age will result in only a 3- to 8-year sentence -- which can be dramatically reduced, as we know all too well.  Upping that penalty so that child-molesters are kept off the street longer might do more to prevent child molestation than letting victims sue organizations which didn't even know of the predators' actions will.

The second problem -- and a much graver one -- is that the law applies only to private institutions.  This means that if someone was molested by a public school teacher or a state assemblyman, he is out of luck.  Given that 90% of children go to public schools, this seems to be a glaring omission.

This is another example of one set of rules for the governed and another for the government.  If a YMCA employee molests a child, liberals want the YMCA to be on the hook essentially forever, but if a public school teacher molests a child, liberals don't want the government to have to pay the child a red cent unless the statute of limitations is met.

Clearly Democrat politicians don't think the law is a good idea, because they are ensuring that it doesn't apply to the government they're responsible for.

If California Democrats really want to help the victims of child molestation, then they should toughen the punishment for such crimes and make the bill apply to all organizations instead of shielding the government.

You can read more of Tom's rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

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