Treat Abuse Victims Fairly
In Ohio, lawsuits against those who sexually abuse children can be filed until their victims reach 30 years of age – in most cases.
But if the abuser was a state employee and the crime occurred in a state institution, the cutoff is 20 years of age.
That is discriminatory, of course. It is wrong, and state officials should change the law.
Ohio Supreme Court justices are considering a lawsuit filed by a 27-year-old woman who says she was sexually molested by two state prison guards when she was 14, and incarcerated at a state institution. A lower court already has ruled she cannot collect damages from the state.
Lawsuits seeking damages for sexual abuse of children can be filed against most parties up to 12 years after the victims reach 18. But actions against the state have a two-year limit.
Some high court justices already have expressed dismay at the discrimination. One thing on their minds may be that many victims of child sexual abuse do not come forward until many years after the crimes.
If the justices do not overrule the limit, legislators should change it. Again, such discrimination is, quite simply, wrong.