Stepping Through the Window

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  April 29, 2020   

Hawaii's statute of limitations closing

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New victims are stepping forward with sex abuse claims against priests in Hawaii.

Hawaiian lawmakers lifted the statute of limitations three times since 2012, and the most recent so-called window law, opened in 2018, expires at the end of April.

But in just a few months, over 100 victims have come forward, most of them alleging to be victims of predator priests.

Honolulu bishop Larry Silva commented on Sunday, "I cannot tell you how it turns my stomach to read of the abuse these people have suffered, and not only that, but how their faith was damaged."

Hawaii-based attorney Mark Gallagher and noted clerical sex abuse law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates announced earlier in the month a new lawsuit against the diocese of Honolulu in reference to the sexual predation of Bp. Joseph Ferrario.

The alleged victim, Craig Christiansen, is claiming he was sexually abused by Ferrario between 1975 and 1976 when he was 12–14 years old. Ferrario was the first bishop to be publicly accused of sex abuse.

A report by Anderson & Associates, titled "Clerical Sex Abuse in the Diocese of Honolulu," describes the diocese as "a dumping ground and refuge for abusive priests from the mainland who sought the geographic and, in some cases, jurisdictional/legal isolation that Hawaii provided."

Lawmakers are seeking to open another window for sex abuse victims and it's not known exactly how many more there are.

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