New Maine Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations Gives Survivors of Abuse More Legal Options
On June 21, 2021, the State of Maine became the latest in the wave of states to pass an extension to the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases. In a landmark move, it opened a permanent revival window – meaning that civil lawsuits arising from child sexual abuse can be brought anytime, no matter when the abuse occurred.
Previously, only abuse perpetrated after 1987 could be prosecuted in Maine’s civil courts. This new law does away with the arbitrary deadline.
Rep. Lori Gramlich, a Democrat from Old Orchard Beach and a longtime social worker, sponsored L.D. 589. In her public testimony on the bill, she disclosed that she is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and said that she saw this bill as an opportunity to give others a chance to be heard.
“For me, it’s not about suing somebody for big bunches of money,” Gramlich said. “It’s about having an opportunity to have justice.”
“We commend Maine lawmakers for recognizing that sexual abuse causes shame, embarrassment, fear, and guilt that many survivors carry well into their adulthood – and that keeps them suffering in silence for decades,” Adam Horowitz, the managing partner of Horowitz Law says of the new law. “We are seeing a wave of new legislation across America as more and more survivors come forward to demand access to courts to hold those responsible for their nightmare accountable. We can add Maine to the list of states that are getting it right.”
The new law takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns its current special session.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in Maine. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in Maine, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those sexually abused in Maine now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Maine and nationwide. We can help.