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Child Victims Act backers pressure 4 senators with robocalls

Advocates are trying to pressure four Republican senators to back the so-called Child Victims Act by using automated phone calls to contact their constituents.

A group, New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators, is funding robocalls to residents in the districts represented by Sens. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill), Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), Sue Serino (R-Hyde Park) and Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo), calling on them to support a bill that would extend the statute of limitations on criminal and civil action against alleged child abusers. It also would provide a one-year window for victims to bring past claims to court.

The calls accuse the targeted senators of blocking the bill and say that victims are being “denied justice.”

The advocacy group, which has been lobbying in Albany for years, is aided by a number of celebrities, including Corey Feldman, who was at the State Capitol last week to press for change.

The Republican-led Senate (where the bill has been stalled) has expressed support for extending the statute of limitations, but not for opening a 1-year window for alleged victims to bring claims.

“The Senate . . . affirmed our support for amendments to both the civil and criminal statutes of limitations to further protect children from sexual predators,” Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said in an email.

The Child Victims Act is opposed by the Catholic Church, some orthodox Jewish communities and the Boy Scouts of America. Advocates are trying to get the proposal included in the New York State budget, which lawmakers are supposed to approve by April 1.

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