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Child Sexual Abuse by Clergy: Statute of Limitations and Repose Challenges

November 1, 2012  ·  By HM&M

The 2011 Illinois Appellate Court’s decision in Wisniewski v. Diocese of Belleville holds that a Catholic diocese’s fraudulent concealment of abuse by its priest tolls the statutes of limitation and repose, allowing a now middle-aged victim to collect against the diocese. This continued a trend by the Illinois legislature toward allowing victims of clergy sex abuse access to court.

Previously, many lawyers would have turned away these victims because their claims are based on sexual abuse from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and thus time-barred by statutes of limitation and repose. This article looks at the decision and the law governing clergy abuse litigation.

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