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Attorney general supports longer limit for sex abuse suits

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s new attorney general says he supports extending the state’s statute of limitations for filing child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Peter Neronha, a former U.S. attorney, says he saw the terrible toll abuse takes on victims and their families when he prosecuted such cases.

The Legislature is expected to consider whether to extend the limit for filing civil suits to 35 years from seven years.

Abuse victims and their advocates also want a grand jury investigation of the Catholic Church’s Providence Diocese.

Neronha says it’s unlikely a grand jury’s findings could be released publicly if a criminal indictment isn’t returned.

He intends to propose legislation authorizing the issuance of a grand jury report, with approvals and safeguards.

The Providence Diocese says it promptly and fully reports abuse allegations to law enforcement and the attorney general.

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