NEW YORK (AP) — The New York attorney general’s new investigation into clergy sex abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church could be massive.
It’s delving into confidential church files in a state where hundreds of people have already made claims through programs run by the church itself.
But few criminal cases or lawsuits may come out of the inquiry, whatever its findings. New York has some of the nation’s strictest time limits on taking child sex abuse claims to civil or criminal courts. A yearslong campaign to extend the timeframe has hit a wall in the state Senate so far.
Still, a University of Pennsylvania legal expert on child sexual abuse says investigations by New York and several other states could be valuable to victims just by bringing information to light.
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