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New York Senate advances invoice that will give grownup sexual abuse survivors window to sue with out statutes of limitations

New York state legislation that gives adult sexual abuse survivors a year-long “look back” window to file lawsuits – even after statute of limitations has expired – hit a hurdle Thursday when the state Senate approved the Measure was correct.

In order for the law to become law, it must also be passed by the State Assembly before the end of the legislature on June 10th and then signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

When asked if the congregation would vote on the bill and whether convention spokesman Carl Heastie supported it, a spokesman said, “Our members are thoughtful and thoughtful.”

The proposed law is similar to the Child Sacrifice Act, which passed in 2019 and resulted in thousands of lawsuits.

Among the bill’s proponents are former patients of former Columbia University gynecologist Robert Hadden, a convicted sex offender currently on federal sexual abuse charges.

In 1993, nearly two decades before Hadden was charged with sexually abusing patients, Dian Saderup Monson said she wrote an “excruciating” letter warning the head of Hadden’s department of his behavior. Hadden continued working until 2012 and was charged in 2014.

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Now Monson is one of more than 200 former patients with filed a lawsuit against Columbia University Hadden “covered up” allegations of sexual abuse for decades.

Monson and several other former patients were rallied outside Columbia University on May 26 to urge New York state lawmakers to pass the Adult Survivors Act.

The former patients were joined by New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, and district attorney candidate Alvin Bragg.

“Nobody wants sexual assault to go unpunished, but they do. No matter when it happens, we just want survivors to be protected. Everyone says that, but it never seems to happen,” Maloney said. “My question is, why do we have the limitation period from the start?”

Marissa Hoechstetter, a former Hadden patient who led efforts to get the Adult Survivors Act passed, said, “It takes years to understand the full scope of a person’s crimes, and women continue to report Hadden to law enforcement today.”

Hoechstetter said during a phone call on Friday that the bill could help some of the former patients in the Columbia lawsuit, which covers allegations dating back nearly 30 years.

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Marissa Hoechstetter speaks outside Columbia University on May 26 during a meeting in support of the Adult Survivors Act.

Graham Kates

“Of the more than 200 women, some are compliant with the law, some are children who have benefited from the Child Sacrifice Act, and some will benefit from the Adult Survivor Act,” said Hoechstetter. “The Adult Survivors Act would ensure that we are all able to do justice.”

Hoechstetter was among 17 women who filed lawsuits against Hadden and Columbia in 2018, but the number of potential plaintiffs in the lawsuit grew after Evelyn Yang – whose husband Andrew sought the Democratic nomination for president and currently New York City mayor running – revealed in a January 2020 CNN interview that she was one of Hadden’s former patients.

Monson got in touch after seeing Yang’s interview.

“It really pisses me off because I feel like they were just paying attention – I wrote a three-page, very detailed letter that was excruciating to write. I never let my husband read. I don’t think I told him about it. I couldn’t stand the thought that anyone even read it. It was so horrible and they apparently just ignored it, “Monson told CBS News.

When asked about Monson’s letter and the Adult Survivors Act of May 26, a Columbia University spokesman said, “Nothing is more important to Columbia than the safety of our patients, and we condemn all sexual misconduct and accountability for Robert Hadden’s heinous acts To deeply regret the damage he has caused to the women in his care and their families. “

Hadden was tried in a New York State court in 2014 on charges of sexual assault against six women. In 2016 he agreed to plead guilty to two individual cases of criminal third-degree sexual act and violent touch. The no-jail plea deal has downgraded his sex offender status to the lowest level – meaning he’s not listed on New York State’s online sex offender registry.

In September 2020, the federal prosecutor revealed new charges in six cases in which patients traveled between states for their appointments with him, but prosecutors alleged in the indictment that Hadden attacked “dozens of female patients, including several minors” between 1993 and 2012. The practice of illegal sexual activity carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison fined

Hadden pleaded not guilty in the case. A Hadden attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Cyrus Vance, announced in September that it was conducting an “intensely active” investigation into “the potential failures of Dr. Hadden’s employer and hospital are investigating whether to pass on additional incidents of abuse to our office and, if necessary, to the supervisory authorities ”.

These investigations are active and ongoing, according to a well-informed source.

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