Are Pedophiles Getting Free Pass in South Dakota?
In March of the following year, a South Dakota circuit court judge relied on the new law to dismiss 18 of the Native American cases, telling The Huffington Post that he felt the law could be applied retroactively, in other words, to lawsuits filed before its existence. More cases were dismissed during 2011.
“Our case was six days from trial when…the court retroactively applied HB 1104,” recalled Dahlen. She and her sisters, who’d sued along with her, appealed to South Dakota’s supreme court, which again denied them the right to be heard, she said.
Not fair, many from in and outside the state have said. “Right now, the point is not for the legislature to litigate these cases,” said state representative Troy Heinert, Rosebud Sioux. “The point is to pass a bill that will give people their day in court.” The abuse phenomenon is not confined to South Dakota, Heinert noted, but part of a worldwide phenomenon facing the Church.
A “travesty” was how Yates described SB 130. “We now know because of science that it takes most people many years to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse. The statute of limitations proposed in SB 130 gives them only a couple of years to do so and grants church entities immunity in the care of all of our children. If this bill is passed, South Dakota will make it more difficult to protect all its children.”
At press time, SB 130 was slated to have its first public airing on February 18, during a South Dakota senate judiciary committee meeting.
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