A political action committee that supports legislation to make it easier for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to sue their abusers has endorsed Jeff Toback in the Democratic primary for state Assembly in the vacant 20th District.
The Fighting for Children PAC announced Monday that it would back Toback, a former Nassau County legislator, over Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary.
“We are always seeking out strong political allies like Jeff Toback who are committed to reforming the state’s statute of limitations when it comes to child sex abuse to better protect the children of New York,” said PAC founder Gary Greenberg, himself a victim of sexual abuse.
The Child Victims Act would eliminate criminal and civil statutes of limitations for sexual abuse against minors. The bill also would give adult victims one year in which they can sue their abusers and any institutions that may have facilitated the abuse. The bill stalled last session in the Republican-controlled Senate.
In New York, most abuse victims are prohibited from pressing charges in criminal or civil court after their 23rd birthday. Greenberg cited research showing that it takes an average of 21 years for victims to disclose their abuse.
“If public safety is a government’s most important job, then protecting our most vulnerable citizens, our children, takes a back seat to nothing,” said Toback. “When it becomes law, the Child Victims Act will allow victims of sexual abuse to pursue civil remedies against their attackers. I look forward to working hard for its passage.”
Eramo also supports the legislation, according to spokesman Matthew Rey, and if elected would work as “a consensus builder who will get results on this and other issues.”
Greenberg, a New York investor, formed the PAC to replace state lawmakers opposed to reforming the statute of limitations. He has invested $100,000 from his retirement funds into the committee and raised $7,500 more. His goal is to raise $200,000.
The PAC also has endorsed five Long Island Democratic State Senate candidates, including Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who vacated the 20th Assembly seat after winning election to the Senate in April.
Fighting for Children is also backing Peter Magistrale in the 2nd District; Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman Jim Gaughran in the 5th District; Adam Haber in the 7th District and Ryan Cronin in the 6th District.