As sex abuse lawsuit window closes, long road for victims

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

In this March 4, 2015, file photo, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick speaks during a memorial service in South Bend, Ind. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

New Jersey’s two-year window that made it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits is closing. Since the law went into effect in December 2019, more than 1,000 suits have been filed in the state, with about two-thirds naming religious entities as defendants.

Several have accused defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who served in New Jersey from the 1980s until 2000. Attorneys for those filing claims say the cases could take years to be resolved.

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The state attorney general’s office also is conducting a criminal investigation into whether New Jersey’s Roman Catholic dioceses adequately reported abuse allegations to law enforcement.

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