Expanding the Statute of Limitations on Sex Abuse Cases
Steve Adubato and Senator Joseph Vitale (D) – NJ, Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee & Vice-Chair, Senate Labor Committee, discuss the sexual abuse cases in churches and what Vitale is doing in NJ to implement new legislation to expand the statute of limitations. The Senator also explains how they are working to protect the Affordable Care Act in NJ.
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. We are, in fact, coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark, New Jersey. It's my honor and pleasure, once again, to welcome State Senator Joseph Vitale, who is the Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee, Vice Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. Good see you Senator. Good to be here. Thank you. Thank you. Let's jump right into a variety of issues. The first one. The Catholic Church, no secret. A crisis going on for decades now involving priests who have, in fact, assaulted, abused, disproportionately young boys. A Pennsylvania grand jury investigation produced what? And then we'll talk about New Jersey. Well the Pennsylvania grand jury produced 900 pages, a report, 1,000 victims and counting, 300 priests were named in that abuse over the decades, and that's just really the tip of the iceberg for the rest of the country. In New Jersey, we have the same problem. You know, sadly, the... our Catholic Church in New Jersey, recently stated that New Jersey is no Pennsylvania. I don't even know what that means. Hmm. The abuse... That was the official statement of the church? That was one of the official statements. Yes. Initially. You can look at us, but we're no Pennsylvania. That's just wrong. We know that... I've worked with victims and survivors for 20 years in the legislature, when I've been in... since I've been in office, and I have met with dozens of them, and their stories are just awful. How... the church hasn't responded appropriately. Now the Attorney General has launched an investigation. I've asked him to do that. They're going to impanel a grand jury eventually. Attorney General Grewal? Grewal, here in New Jersey. Right. Going to impanel a grand jury eventually. After the task force does their work, they're gonna subpoena all the records and find out where the truth is. What's the goal? Pardon me? What's the goal? The goal is to establish that there has been, over decades, not just a pattern, but institutional abuse, and a cover-up by certain bishops over time. And that abuse has not stopped. We still hear about cases today. The church has done a better job trying to weed out, you know, bad actors. But when you rape a child, there is no excuse, there's no justification for that of course. And now, many years later, when they're adults, they have no remedy, other than to sue their abuser or their rapist. And the institution..."