North Carolina

Sex abuse lawsuit deadlines extended by North Carolina House

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina House members have backed overwhelmingly a longer period of time for victims of child sexual abuse to sue perpetrators for damages as adults.

The measure now heading to the Senate following Wednesday's vote of 104-10 extends the statute of limitations for a victim from 21 years of age to 38. The bill also would give older adults outside the proposed age cap a two-year window to file lawsuits.

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The legislation comes with increased awareness nationally about sex abuse cases, such as those within the Roman Catholic Church and in youth organizations.

Bill sponsor Rep. Dennis Riddell says many victims aren't coming to terms with the abuse until much later in life and should be able to seek redress. Civil cases require lower levels of proof than criminal matters.