"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
As we discussed last week, The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and Together for the Gospel (T4G) issued concurrent statements in the wake of a judge's dismissal of a lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries et al. Here are those posts:
This is how Dever, Duncan, and Mohler described their relationship with Mahaney:
"A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals. For this reason, we, along with many others, refused to step away from C. J. in any way. We do not regret that decision. We are profoundly thankful for C. J. as friend, and we are equally thankful for the vast influence for good he has been among so many Gospel-minded people."
Dee challenged what TGC had to say (link), and I called attention to T4G's blunder in publishing its statement (link). It is certainly noteworthy that Kevin DeYoung, who contributed to TGC's statement, spoke at SGM's Transfer Conference last weekend and that Mark Dever will be delivering the sermon at Sovereign Grace Church Louisville this Sunday, June 2.
On Wednesday, May 29, Susan Burke and Bill O'Neil filed a Motion for Reconsideration on behalf of the plaintiffs (see below).
This motion contains two arguments, specifically:
I. Civil Conspiracy Claims Are Timely Filed as Such Claims Accrued at the Time of Discovery of the Conspiracy.
From the Conclusion of the Motion to Reconsider (p. 8):
"The application of the discovery rule to civil conspiracy claims dictates that such claims accrue at the time the plaintiffs discover or should have discovered the facts establishing the elements required to bring a conspiracy claim. Under this rule, Plaintiffs civil conspiracy claims are timely filed."
II. Claims of Certain Plaintiffs Are Timely Filed Within the Requirements of § 5-117
From the Conclusion of the Motion to Reconsider (p. 8):
"Moreover, based on the allegations in the SAC, the allegations by Renee Palmer Gamby and Donna Doe arise out of incidents of alleged sexual abuse that occurred when the plaintiffs were minors. As such, the applicable period of limitations is seven years from the age of majority, and claims by both Gamby and Doe were filed within the allowable limitations period."
In the Motion to Reconsider, the plaintiffs' attorneys point out that Maryland law was amended in October 2003 by passage of the following:
(a) In this section, "sexual abuse" has the meaning stated in § 5-701 of the Family Law Article.
(b) An action for damages arising out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor shall be filed within 7 years of the date that the victim attains the age of majority.
Perhaps lawmakers are beginning to view child sex abuse as more heinous than some other crimes and thereby changing the statute of limitations for that particular crime.
As previously noted, we are not attorneys; however, we believe it is important to pass along this information to those who may be interested in keeping up with the legal proceedings involving SGM et al. To read the entire motion, click on the link below.
This is just one tiny step in what is expected to be an arduous and lengthy process in attempting to take this case to trial. It is also a way to get the information out to those interested in the problems inherent in the prosecution of child sex abuse.
In recent years there has been a huge outcry against child sex abuse, particularly at the hands of clergy. Advances in technology have helped keep this scourge in the public eye.
You might be interested to know that there are similar situations playing out in other states. Here is but one example from Minnesota involving an attorney named Jeff Anderson who has successfully represented some of the victims of Catholic priests. We have had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Anderson in the past and found him to be extremely knowledgeable on matters concerning the sexual abuse of children.
On May 29, 2013 (the same day this Motion for Reconsideration was filed), the following headline appeared in the StarTribune: Minn. churches are sued under new sex abuse law.
The article begins as follows:
"A 51-year-old Twin Cities man sued Wednesday alleging sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in the 1970s, the first such lawsuit since the Child Victims Act was signed into law last week by Gov. Mark Dayton.
The act strips away the statute of limitations that previously gave child sex-abuse victims until the age of 24 to sue. Exactly what impact it will have is unclear, but St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing the man, said more litigation is inevitable.
“He was suffering in the shadows,” Anderson said of his client, who is remaining anonymous. 'There are going to be many more [suits] to come, as they should. Now is the time for reckoning.' "
Could it be that lawmakers around the country are beginning to take another look at the statute of limitations pertaining to victims of child sexual abuse? We can only hope…
We will continue to monitor the SGM situation and keep you apprised on any developments.
Lydia's Corner: 2 Samuel 22:1-23:23 Acts 2:1-47 Psalm 122:1-9 Proverbs 16:19-20