Maryland, Pass the Hidden Predator Act!
The Maryland Hidden Predator Act (HPA) will eliminate the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and create a 2-year lookback window, exposing hidden predators and providing previously barred survivors access to justice.
2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION convenes on January 13, 2021
House (HB263) Sponsor: Delegate Wilson
Senate (SB134) Sponsors: Senators Hettleman, Corderman, Elfreth, Feldman, and Young
Senate Hearing: February 2, 2021, 1:00 PM - Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
During the 2020 Regular Session an identical bill (HB974) passed unanimously in the House of Delegates.
Unfortunately in the few remaining days of a session truncated by Covid-19, the Senate did not take up the bill.
HPA PASSES the HOUSE!
127 – 0
Thanks to all who worked hard to get us to this far!
On to the Senate!
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
February 20, 2020
More than 30 witnesses, including survivors, child welfare organizations, medical professionals, and faith leaders, gave inspiring testimony and made an undeniable case for the Hidden Predator Act.
About the HPA
What are the Hidden Predator Act Goals?
Identify Hidden Predators
Disclose facts of sex abuse epidemic to the public
Arm trusted adults with information to protect children
Shift the cost of abuse from victims to those who caused the harm
Provide a path to justice for victims ready to come forward
What will the Hidden Predator Act Do?
Eliminate the civil statute of limitations going forward.
Create a lookback window for those victims who have been previously barred by the statute of limitations, allowing them to file suit for a period of two years.
Remove the “statute of repose” making it clear to the courts, the public, and survivors that the Maryland General Assembly did not intend to vest constitutionally protected property rights in child sexual predators nor the individuals and organizations that hid predators from discovery and prosecution.
"To tell my story drowns me in memories I’ve tried to so hard suppress, over and over again. It’s exhausting. It’s embarrassing. It’s painful. This is not something that I want to do. This is not something that I want to feel. But someone needs to be a voice for those who have not found their voice yet." — Delegate C.T. Wilson, 10 March 2020, Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun
Read more here
Organizations step up to support survivors
Join the 30+ groups standing with survivors for healing and justice. Add your organization's name to the Maryland State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (SCCAN) and Maryland Essentials for Childhood letter of support for the Hidden Predator Act (HB974).