Aug 16, 2018

The bottom line: It's too late for legal action against most predatory priests

Photo:Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The more than 1,000 victims of child sexual abuse by Pennsylvanian Catholic priests are unlikely to see justice carried out on their oppressors, as the revelations from a grand jury's damning report have likely surfaced too late for any legal repercussions.

The bottom line: For abuse cases in Pennsylvania, a child victim has until they are 30-years-old to sue or until 50-years-old to file criminal charges, according to the New York Times. A majority of the allegations in the report occurred decades ago and only 2 priests are facing criminal charges at this point.

The grand jury recommended that the statute of limitation laws be changed and waived for two years for victims of the priests.

"No piece of legislation can predict the point at which a victim of child sex abuse will find the strength to come forward."
— Pennsylvania Grand Jury

What to watch: There is currently a bill before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would raise the age to 50 for victims to sue their abuser, and eliminate the time limit for criminal prosecution in sexual abuse cases entirely. The Republican House Majority Leader has said that he expects to schedule a vote on the bill this fall, according to CNN.

The other side: The church has lobbied against these efforts, according to the Times. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, which is the public affairs agency of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and dioceses, has argued the legislation would "lead to the closure of parishes, schools, and ministries of today’s Catholics, who are in no way responsible for abuse that occurred decades ago."

The big picture: Only Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming have completely eliminated statutes of limitations for felony sex crimes.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. Sunday night, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy