News

Maryland Hidden Predator Act

 

Report of abuses at Gilman School underscores need to give survivors more time to sue, supporters say | Phil Davis The Sun, 16 March 2021

"A recent investigation alleging two then-employees at Gilman School sexually assaulted boys over several decades is the latest example of why Maryland needs to remove age limits for survivors to file lawsuits, some state legislators and advocates say."

Mary Grace Gallagher: Man shares why Maryland should end statute of limitations on child abuse claims | COMMENTARY The Capital, 7 March 2021

"It is a paradox of “social movements” that they rely on lone voices, sharing stories of impact and pain. Whether chanting “Me Too” or “Black Lives Matter,” it is easy to stand in a crowd and demand change and much harder to stand alone, as one Bowie resident did last month, when he shared with strangers the most horrifying and vulnerable experience of his life in a recorded Zoom session for the Maryland General Assembly."

 

Statement from Delegate CT Wilson on withdrawal of House Bill 263 |  3 March 2021

"What is being lost in the arguments and legal discussions is the voice of survivors. They have once again been relegated to the background, even mocked for standing up in support of their desire to seek justice."

Inside Baltimore’s prestigious Gilman School: Decades of alleged sexual abuse, little effort at justice, report finds Baltimore Sun, 4 March 2021

"Two former employees at the all-boys Gilman School have been accused of sexually abusing students — one for decades — according to an investigative report commissioned by the school and obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

The report, released in January, also records instances, dating from the 1950s through 2008, when Gilman officials were apprised of allegations but did not investigate further, did not alert community members or did not pursue prosecution."

The Attack in the Judicial Proceedings Committee | OPINION. Maryland Matters, 13 February 2021

"After the unnecessary and disturbing mudslinging in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPR) earlier this month, I have been thinking about the role of character and bravery in the work of lawmakers." 

Zirkin Returns to Old Committee to Testify Against Wilson’s Child Sex Abuse Bill  Maryland Matters, 5 February 2021 

"Former Senate Judicial Proceedings chairman Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) returned to his former committee this week to testify against a high-profile bill that’s a follow-up to a measure he once championed." 

2020

Incredibly, a Harford County state senator sides with predators over victims of child abuse | READER COMMENTARY, Baltimore Sun, 11 March 2020

Extending the time child sexual abuse victims can sue is a welcome step | READER COMMENTARY, Baltimore Sun, 6 March 2020

 

Maryland state senator compares bill on child sexual abuse lawsuits to Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process Baltimore Sun, 5 March 2020

The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board recommends passage of HB974 and states, "Abusers, or those who shielded them, deserve to be called to account for their actions whenever they occurred, otherwise the only ones suffering consequences are the victims."  Read more here.
Baltimore Sun, 20 Feb 2020

Maryland lawmakers to weigh whether sexual abuse survivors should have more time to sue, Baltimore Sun, 19 Feb 2020 
 
Hidden Predator Act would end statute of limitations on filing lawsuits in future cases WBAL, 20 Feb 2020
 

Our Say: Lawmakers may block statute of limitation changes but justice will win out in Key School case The Capital, 6 March 2019

"Like many social issues, failure in one session does not mean the end of the road...This bill may falter this year. We predict that will not be the end of it."

Bill expanding ability to file lawsuits over child sexual abuse moves forward in Maryland Baltimore Sun, 16 March 2019

Related national news 

Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid – As the pandemic began to unfold, scores of Catholic dioceses across the U.S. received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program while sitting on well over $10 billion in cash. AP News

 

Pa. House votes to extend window for childhood sex-abuse victims to submit claims in civil court. According to the Pa. House, if Gregory’s bill is passed by the state Senate, a referendum question on the matter will be included in the primary election on May 18, 2021. ABC/27 News

2020

Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered. After decades of shielding the identities of accused child abusers from the public, many Catholic leaders are now releasing lists of their names. But the lists are inconsistent, incomplete and omit key details. Pro Publica  

 

Catholic Church Shields $2 Billion in Assets to Limit Abuse Payouts: Dioceses are aggressively moving and reclassifying holdings to shrink the value of their bankruptcy estates. Bloomberg “In many cases, churches precede bankruptcy by transferring and reclassifying assets. The effect is to shrink the pot of money available to clergy abuse victims. That and Chapter 11’s universal settle­ments and protections from further claims have been an effective one-two punch for limiting payouts.”  

 

Church Offers Little Outreach to Minority Victims of Priest Abuse “For survivors of color, who often face additional social and cultural barriers to coming forward on their own, the lack of concerted outreach on behalf of the church means less public exposure — and potentially, more opportunities for abuse to go on, undetected. Associated Press

 

THE RECKONING The Associated Press’s ongoing, in depth exploration of the Catholic Church’s greatest credibility crisis since the Reformation. Associated Press