Who Is Lobbying Against NY Extending The SOL

.jpg photo of court room graphic for opening the statute of limitations for child sex abuse
The New York State Legislature is considering extending the statute of limitations on child sex crimes.

NYS Exposed: Who’s opposed to giving
Child Sex Abuse victims more time to
file lawsuits?

Rochester, NY  –  Should victims of child sex abuse be able to sue their abusers decades later?

The New York State Legislature is considering extending the statute of limitations on child sex crimes but there are some big organizations spending thousands of dollars to fight it.

Currently, someone who is sexually abused as a child has until the age of 23 to press criminal charges against his or her abuser.  Under the proposed legislation, a victim would have until his 28th birthday to file criminal charges and his 50th birthday to file civil charges.

At the age of 13, a family member shattered Melanie Blow’s trust, “one day he pulled me aside, he sexually assaulted me and I mean… inside my world changed, outside, I didn’t dare tell anybody,” she recalled.  The abuse continued and so did her silence until a decade later when she realized her abuser had done the same thing to other children.

“It never occurred to me that he was going to do this to someone else,” she said.

Since then, she’s been pushing for changes that would allow victims more time to come to terms with their abuse and seek justice.

“When children are victimized sexually in their early years, they very often don’t have the ability to intellectually or developmentally understand what’s happened to them,” said Deb Rosen, the Executive Director of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center.

That’s why many states have done away with statutes of limitations or have significantly extended them.

“New York State is truly out-of-step with the rest of the country in this area,” Rosen added.

It seems there is widespread support in Albany when it comes to giving victims more time to press criminal charges and file civil suits but the legislation also includes a one-year “look-back” for civil cases and that is the sticking point. During that window, anyone, abused at any time could sue.

“You go generations, somebody could stake a claim from something that happened 30, 40, 50 years ago and there’s no one to defend against those particular allegations,” said New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan of Elma.

Who seems most concerned about that?  Not the alleged abusers but their possible former places of employment.  News10NBC pulled lobbying records that show some of the very groups who are supposed to protect children, have spent money urging lawmakers not to pass this legislation.  The list includes public and private schools and teachers, the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church and insurance companies.

“At this point, I feel that it only right to explain one very important point, and give you, Our Readers, the stats.  When a Child says they have been molested, you had better listen, because it is unsubstantiated less than 2% of the time. However, when The Clergy has been named, it is unsubstantiated over 60% of the time, although these men’s testimony is ruined forever.  Just so everyone knows, Law Enforcement does all of this type investigations.”
Robert StrongBow

In fact, following a meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo about the Child Victims Act in March, the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is quoted as saying “a look-back would be toxic for us….  We find it to be very strangling because we, unfortunately, have a precedent when that happens, the only organization that is targeted is the Catholic church.”

There’s also some concern from lawmakers that a look-back could flood the court system with thousands of civil cases.  The State of California recently passed legislation that included a look-back window; so far, about 1,200 claims have been filed.

When asked if he thought the legislation would pass if the look-back window wasn’t included, Senator Gallivan told News10NBC, “the best way that I can say is this is now being talked about more than I’ve ever heard it talked about in the past and I think the momentum is there for something to get done.”

Melanie said, the least state lawmakers can do is let victims have their day in court.

“It’s really hard to take a case forward when it’s happening right now.  It’s much harder to take it forward when it happened decades ago but it can happen and all victims are asking for is the right to try,” she told News10NBC.

NXIVM Leader And Actress In Custody

.jpg photo of actress arrested for recruiting women as sex slavess
Allison Mack accused of recruiting women for sex-cult leader

‘Smallville’ actress Allison Mack accused of
recruiting women for sex-cult leader

Actress Allison Mack, best known for her decade on TV’s “Smallville,” and Keith Raniere, the leader of what authorities allege is a sex cult, were indicted Friday in New York on federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor, the Albany Times-Union reported.

Raniere and Mack are each charged with multiple counts, and could face a minimum of 15 years in prison.  Mack was arrested in New York City on Friday and will be held pending a bail hearing Monday.  Raniere has been in custody since he was arrested in Mexico in March.

Raniere is the founder of NXIVM, which bills itself as a self-help and empowerment organization, but is described by authorities as a cultlike group whose members recruited women to be sex slaves, and branded their pubic regions with Raniere’s initials.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle said Mack was indicted “for her role in DOS, a group … that purported to be a women’s empowerment sorority. Prosecutors, however, say DOS was actually a sex-slave ring led by Raniere, with women known as ‘slaves’ who reported to ‘masters’ who ultimately reported to Raniere himself.  Mack is an alleged co-conspirator, reporting directly to Raniere.”

Mack, 35, is alleged by prosecutors to have recruited slaves for pay, forcing the women to have sex with Raniere, and using explicit photos and damaging information to ensure their compliance.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutors said Mack told recruits that they were joining a female mentorship group.

“Mack and other … masters recruited … slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses the NVIVM curriculum taught were common in women,” prosecutors said.

But “the victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor to the defendants’ benefit,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Kim Penza also said in court that “under the guise of female empowerment,” Mack “starved women until they fit her co-defendant’s sexual ideal,” the AP wrote.

Mack starred in the CW Network series about Clark Kent’s youth in Smallville, Kan. before he became Superman, playing Clark Kent’s friend Chloe Sullivan from 2001 to 2011.  She has also been in a handful of television series roles since, according to her IMDB page.

According to CBS News:

Former NXIVM publicist Frank Parlato told Inside Edition that Mack is “completely enamored with Raniere and completely under his thrall.”  He also said that Mack and her “Smallville” co-star, Kristin Kreuk, were used as “poster girls for normalizing the group.”  Kreuk says she left NXIVM years ago and commended the women who exposed DOS.

Raniere, 57, known to his followers as ‘the Vanguard’ — was living in a villa in Puerto Vallarta with several women, according to federal prosecutors, before he was apprehended in March.  Mexican authorities took him into custody and delivered him to Texas; he’s now in federal custody in Brooklyn.  As Raniere was taken from the villa,  The Post’s Kyle Swenson wrote, citing prosecutors, the women chased after authorities in their own car at high-speed.

“In my opinion, NXIVM is one of the most extreme groups I have ever dealt with in the sense of how tightly wound it is around the leader,” cult expert Rick Ross told the Times-Union in 2012.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn last week wrote in court documents that Rainere has “a decades-long history of abusing women and girls,” and accused him of having sex with minors.

In a statement attributed to Raniere on NXIVM’s website, he proclaimed his innocence and said he believed the justice system would prevail.  He also denied affiliation with DOS, the sorority.

The Times-Union, however, wrote that “federal court records indicate emails seized from Raniere’s private messaging accounts support the conclusion that Raniere created the club, which was known as ‘Dominus Obsequious Sororium,’ which means ‘Master Over the Slave Women.’ ”