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Delaware High Court Weighs Child Victim Law

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DOVER, Del. (AP) – The Delaware Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of a 2007 law that allowed victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits that otherwise would have been barred by the passage of time.

The court heard arguments Wednesday involving the first trial under the law, which gave abuse victims two years to file lawsuits for offenses that happened long ago.
The jury found that the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, a Catholic religious order, was liable under the Child Victims Act of 2007, but it declined to award any damages to the victim, James Sheehan.

Attorneys argued Wednesday both over the constitutionality of the law under which Sheehan sued, and whether the jury was confused by conflicts between a verdict form and the instructions it received.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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