State senator plans sex abuse bill

Senator Rich Pahls had all the information he needed to move forward after the AG's report.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Senator Rich Pahls from District 31 has had his eye on one particular issue for a while, but he hasn’t had enough solid information to move forward, until now. Following the release of a report from Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson detailing more than 200 cases of sexual assault in the Catholic Church, Pahls was finally able to put evidence behind hearsay.

“This is the foundation right now”, says Pahls, holding the report. “This is not made up. It’s kind of scary when you read through it.”

In addition to identifying 258 cases, Senator Pahls says the AG’s report was a call for change.

“He said one of the reasons he couldn’t do anything was because of statutes. You could tell by this report that that really got to him. He knows it’s wrong”, explained Pahls.

The senator is hoping to put that right by dropping that statute of limitations so that victims would be able to file a civil suit, no matter how much time has passed since their abuse.

“This is not something you want to talk about”, Pahls says, “until you possibly get a little older because of the shame that’s brought about.” He says studies show people wait until an average age of 52 to speak out about childhood abuse.

Pahls is bringing in state and national groups, as well as individual people, as he and his staff prep this bill for introduction in the upcoming legislative session. As he speaks, it’s clear that this is a passion project.

Referring again to his printed copy of the Attorney General’s report, Pahls says, “In a lot of reports, we make the report, and it sits on the shelf. My intent is not to have this sit on the shelf.”

Categories: Nebraska News, News