33rd District City Council candidate Steve Levin’s boss, State Assemblyman/Brooklyn Kingmaker Vito Lopez has fought tooth and nail against proposed state legislation that would give victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to file a claim against their abuser.
Mr. Lopez and the opposition railed so hard against the bill, that the stress of the struggle landed sponsor Assemblymember Margaret Markey of Queens in the hospital on June 23, at the end of the legislative session.
In April, Levin’s boss authored what critics called a “watered down” alternative to Markey’s Child Victims Act. One of the key differences in Lopez’s proposal was the elimination of a one year “window” allowing victims the chance to file a claim against an abuser regardless of when the crimes were committed.
In April, Jewish Week wrote:
According to advocates for victims of child sexual abuse, opening a one-year window in which currently time-barred claims can be brought is crucial. This, they say, is because it typically takes victims decades to come to terms with their abuse, let alone feel able to speak out about it and confront their abusers publicly. Those who support a window note its role not only in providing some measure of justice to victims, but also in identifying previously unnamed sexual predators, who most likely would otherwise continue preying on children.
“Retribution never brings about justice, nor will the crippling of the church’s ability to carry out its mission serve any purpose,” Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn tells the New York Times.
Here’s Lopez in his own words explaining his point of view, basically saying that he’s choosing to protect institutions rather than risk “frivolous” law suits from victim’s of sexual abuse against the Catholic Church et al.:
Here’s a WPIX-TV report on a recent protest at Lopez’s office:
Markey’s bill was withdrawn. Her spokesperson tells the New York Times, “The leadership has told us they will put it on the agenda if she holds her votes with comfortable margins.”
BHB has reached out to the Levin campaign asking if the candidate is simpatico with his boss on this issue.