Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law on March 26 a bill that extends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse civil lawsuits to 20 years.
The bill passed the Virginia Senate on Feb. 3 (see article) and the Virginia House of Delegates passed the bill Feb. 24, sending it to the Republican governor for his signature.
The law goes into effect July 1.
Currently in Virginia, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse is two years from when the person is 18 years old, from the time of the abuse, or from the time of discovery.
With the passage of the new bill, Virginia joins a small number of states that have statutes of limitations of more than eight years. Forty states and Washington D.C. have a limit of eight years or less, according to Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference.
The House bill was introduced by David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, and the Senate bill was introduced by Frederick M. Quayle, R-Chesapeake. Each bill originally proposed a 25-year cap.