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CCASA Applauds Senate for Passing SB 88

Thursday, May 13, 2021

CCASA Applauds the Senate for Passing Bill to Hold Institutions that Cover Up Child Sexual Abuse Accountable

This morning, Senate Bill 88, the Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act, passed out of the Senate with 31 aye votes and 4 no votes. This legislation is a major step forward for victims, especially for those for whom the civil statute of limitations has already passed. SB 88 creates an entirely new and freestanding cause of action, narrowly tailored to the institutional coverup that has allowed for decades of child sexual abuse in Colorado, that would be available to both new and past victims regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Earlier this session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 73, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations for sexual misconduct.  However, due to issues with constitutionality, it cannot be applied retroactively for people for whom the two- and six-year statute of limitations has already run out.

“There is a decades old, well-documented history of institutional coverup that has resulted in the sexual abuse of hundreds of children in Colorado. Institutions entrusted with the care of children responded by protecting themselves instead of child victims of abuse,” Raana Simmons, Director of Public Affairs with the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Senate Bill 88 incentivizes the prevention of child sexual abuse by finally holding bad actors accountable and liable for the destruction they cause.”

The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) has worked with survivors for over 30 years to eliminate archaic laws that limit the ability of victims of child sexual abuse to access justice.  “We are hopeful that the House will also recognize the importance of Senate Bill 88 for finally holding institutions accountable for knowingly and deliberately covering up child sexual abuse, and preventing future abuse. It is long past time for victims to have the opportunity to access justice,” Brie Franklin, CCASA’s Executive Director.

Senate Bill 88 will now move over to the House for consideration.