By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– State lawmakers in the House are debating a bill that would allow survivors of child sexual assault in Colorado to sue institutions that have protected perpetrators. Earlier this month, the Colorado Senate unanimously passed legislation that eliminates a statute of limitations for victims of child sexual assault to file civil lawsuits seeing damages from perpetrators.

(credit: CBS)

Under current law, survivors must file any civil lawsuit against abusers by the age of 24 — and by age 20 against employers or organizations harboring abusers.

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The bill would remove several restrictions on filing damage claims. It also would make persons and organizations that didn’t directly participate in abuse potentially liable.

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“What we’re talking about is children who are sexually abused while in the care of trusted adults in youth programs and those youth programs participated in a coverup,” said Rep. Jessie Danielson, a Democrat representing Wheat Ridge.

The bill would provide immunity to institutions that take reasonable action to prevent future assaults. It passed its first committee in the House with only one “no” vote.

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Colorado has no statute of limitations for criminal cases involving sexual abuse of minors.

Jennifer McRae