The victims who have accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing them as minors will be eligible to bring civil claims for one year starting in August under the New York Child Victims Act. While the charges against Jeffrey Epstein are from more than a decade ago, the victims, then children and now young women, are no less entitled to their day in court.
Epstein was charged in a 13-page indictment in Manhattan Federal Court with conspiracy and sex trafficking charges that carry a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. He is accused of abusing girls as young as 14 between 2002 and 2005, meaning his alleged victims are likely now in their late 20’s or older. If it was not for the Child Victims Act, survivors over the age of 23 would not have the legal option to file civil claims against Epstein for the heinous crimes he is charged with committing.
The Impact the Child Victims Act has on Survivors
Many people who experienced sexual abuse years ago were not able to bring civil claims before New York courts, that was until February 14, 2019, when Andrew Cuomo & the New York legislature passed the Child Victims Act. The Child Victims Act extends the statute of limitations to report sexual abuse. It also creates a one-year lookback window for those who were previously barred to bring their case to court.
The Child Victims Act at its heart is about increasing avenues to justice for survivors of childhood sexual abuse in New York State. This applies whether survivors were abused by clergy, by teachers, by coaches, or by billionaires.