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Examining potential changes to Michigan's civil justice system for sexual assault

gavel, justice
Posted at 9:00 PM, Mar 23, 2022

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront segment we're looking at a new push to change Michigan's civil justice system for sexual assault. A package of three bills would expand the statute of limitation for filing claims and "allow justice for all survivors."

New bills introduced in Lansing to address sexual assault survivors

Joining us to talk about it is Democratic State Representative from Novi and co-sponsor of the bills Kelly Breen.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"The package itself is designed to extend statute of limitations to allow survivors of criminal sexual conduct and sexual assault to find some justice and we are unfortunately very familiar with headlines surrounding sex and misconduct and assault by trusted medical professionals," Breen says. "Only this past January was a settlement reached between the University of Michigan and the thousand-plus survivors of the late Dr. Robert Anderson who was a university physician who accused of sexual assault against hundreds of students and he was a university health services doctor, he was moved to the athletic department in the 1980s after credible reports of misconduct and this physician worked at the university for over 22 years and only now are his survivors being heard. Now the amount of time that has passed after a crime does not negate the fact that a crime was committed. So these bills do require some additional work to balance the scales of justice, but these are part of the conversation to help make a safer Michigan and to bring some justice to survivors. It's not an indictment of our good institutions, it's about continuing the conversation and we want to make sure institutions are held accountable. We want to make sure individuals themselves who had nothing to do with the behavior are not innocently targeted in this aspect, but we do need people to be held accountable for what they've done and to bring some justice to these survivors."