Lawsuits filed against Diocese of Oakland under new California law lifting statute of limitation

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — For the first time, lawsuits have been filed against the diocese of Oakland under the Child Victims Act.

Assembly Bill 218 lifts the statute of limitations for survivors to come forward for the next three years no matter when the abuse happened.

“It’s wrecked my entire life. Every aspect of my life.”

James Brogan says it took 40 years before he was able to tell his friends and family what happened to him in the Catholic church.

“It’s hard to feel like a survivor when I’m still suffering but it was the house of evil most definitely and there’s people hiding from it and it was so wrong,” Brogan said. 

Together with his attorney, he spoke to reporters on Tuesday about the abuse he says he faced as a young boy.

It’s abuse that other victims say they also dealt with as children.

“I, as a child, lost my faith and lost my trust in being around men,” said survivor Brian Barnes. 

Assembly Bill 218, known as the California Child Victims Act, will lift the statute of limitations for survivors to come forward for the next three years, no matter when the abuse occurred or how old the survivor is now.

Attorneys say this is the first time this has ever been done in the country and they call it a dire warning for every offender out there and every institution that has covered up sex abuse in the past.

“I cant change my past but I can sure as heck alert the world and try to change the future,” Barnes said.

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