Sorry it’s been quiet around here. I have been a full-time parent/taxi-driver/cook/cleaner/referee all summer, so the blog has had a short vacation.
But just because I have been slacking, doesn’t mean that the world stood still (if only my laundry would stand still …).
From the Pacific Daily News:
In a 13-0 vote, lawmakers Monday morning unanimously approved legislation to permanently remove the statute of limitations for all sexual abuse crimes, allowing victims to file civil cases against their alleged assailant.
Unlike a 2011 bill that was actively opposed by the Catholic Church, this bill will also allow victims to name and sue third parties who knew about, facilitated, or covered up the abuse.
This is a tremendous victory for the victims and faithful of Guam. Since earlier this year, they have worked to help numerous victims come forward publicly (including numerous alleged victims of Archbishop Apuron). Then, when Apuron was replaced by an Apostolic Administrator, victims and Guam’s Catholics didn’t sit back and hope for the best. Instead, they have filed defamation lawsuits, demanded real action, and helped more victims and witnesses come forward publicly and safely.
If this legislation becomes law, victims will gain access to a treasure trove of secret sex abuse and cover-up files. Plus, they will be able to depose those who have actively worked to silence victims and enable predators. This is exciting stuff.
For the latest, always check out the JungleWatch blog. They pull no punches.
Back in 2013, I wrote about Wade Robson, the brave man who has come forward to say that he was sexually abused as a child by Michael Jackson.
Speaking out about sexual abuse in Hollywood is tough business, but speaking out against the Michael Jackson Machine can be downright scary. Robson couldn’t stay silent any longer, especially after the birth of his son.
Robson recently filed a sex abuse lawsuit against two of Michael Jackson’s companies. The latest amended lawsuit has a bombshell.
From the New York Daily News:
In the new filings, Robson, 33, alleges that Jackson and his inner circle sought out children in systemic fashion through two companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. The companies — ostensibly dedicated to creating and disseminating Jackson’s entertainment — served “dual purposes,” Robson’s lawyer told the Daily News.
“MJJ Productions operated the most sophisticated child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation operation the world has known,” Robson’s lawyer said Monday.
Bill Cosby and California Law
In California, a “little bill that could” is sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, waiting for his signature.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The Legislature sent (state Sen. Connie) Leyva’s bill, SB 813, to Brown last week. He has until Sept 30 to sign the bill, which would end the time limit in California for prosecuting rape, child sexual abuse and other felony sex crimes.
“This bill does not abolish the very high burden-of-proof standard,” Leyva said at a state Capitol news conference. “[SB] 813 simply ensures that the door does not slam in the face of victims.”
When the bill was first introduced, it was a bit of an outlier. But with the mounting allegations and evidence of abuse against comedian Bill Cosby, California lawmakers understood that if victims can meet a burden of proof, they need a CHANCE to get inside of a courtroom.
Let’s hope Jerry Brown doesn’t screw this one up like he did SB 131, which would have given victims of child sexual abuse the chance to use the civil justice system to expose abuse and keep kids safe right now.