Syracuse, N.Y. -- A pending bill that would extend New York's statute of limitations on sex crimes would not enable police to charge former Family Court Judge Bryan Hedges.

But if the bill became law, a woman who accused Hedges of having sexual contact with her 40 years ago when she was five would be able to sue Hedges if she acted quickly.

The state Assembly has passed the bill four times since 2005, but it has died in the Senate each time.

The bill, proposed for the fifth time earlier this year, would allow child sex abuse victims to report child molesting up to the victim's 28th birthday — five years later than the law now allows. It would apply to civil and criminal cases.

The bill also would create a one-year window — from the date the bill becomes law — for victims to sue their abusers, regardless of when the alleged abuse happened.

California and Delaware have allowed for similar windows, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits, many against the Roman Catholic Church.

The New York legislation was reintroduced in the Assembly in January by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, D-Queens.

Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, two stepbrothers from Central New York who claim they were molested by fired Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine, appeared with Markey at a news conference in Albany in February to lobby for passage of the bill.

But there has been little action since then. The Assembly has not voted on the bill this year. The bill has not been introduced in the state Senate.
Contact Mike McAndrew at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 315-470-3016.

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