Child sex abusers must be punished

Four years ago, I wrote to state legislators in support of the Child Victims’ Act legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, D-Queens.

At the time, the proposed legislation would have merely extended the statute of limitations for reporting childhood sexual abuse by five years.

I found it disturbing that all involved in the lobby effort were working so hard to get the Legislature to pass legislation that was so miserably far from good enough, and still we were spinning our wheels with the state Senate.

This year, Markey revised the bill to eliminate the statute of limitations. No statute of limitations should have been the goal from the beginning.

I want to thank the Times Union for its March 18 editorial, “There’s no limit on such pain,” in support of the act. I have spoken with senators who have regurgitated the same mantra “memories fade, witnesses die, evidence disappears” as a reason why this legislation is not in the state’s best interest.

Another argument I have heard, against a one-year look-back window, is that it is not fair to hold a perpetrator accountable when he or she may have been dealt with previously per the accepted practice of that time.

It is said that with great power comes great responsibility. The members of our society who are empowered and trusted with children and who abuse that power bear great responsibility for their heinous acts.

Molestation, sexual abuse, rape of children murders innocence and drastically changes the adult life to come. A perpetrator who commits such a crime should not have the comfort of knowing that after a number of years, they are no longer accountable for their crime.

Andrea Portnick


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