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Courtesy of: USA Swimming
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, July 12. USA Swimming has hired a lobbyist company to help amend California Senate Bill 131, according to blogger Tony Austin and confirmed tonight with USA Swimming.

Austin blogs that the bill would "extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits against their abusers."

USA Swimming, however, believes that the bill has some glaring holes. And, as such, has hired the lobbying firm Nielsen Merksamer to help in amending the bill.


"When USA Swimming created its Safe Sport program, our 100% commitment was to prevent abuse and keep athletes safe," USA Swimming said in a statement. "We remain committed to that charge and abhor any abuse that happens to anyone. We have many components of this program, including background screens, educational programs, an updated Code of Conduct and Safe Sport leadership conference.

"With that said, we have concerns with California SB 131 and USA Swimming, on behalf of our current and future members, has engaged Nielsen Merksamer to work with us on opposing this bill in its current form. For example, this bill does not hold the abusers accountable and excludes governmental agencies even when they are the employer."

The law, as written, does not extend the statute of limitations criminally, but only allows for a much larger period of time for alleged victims to sue alleged abusers.

According to bill co-sponsor senator Jim Beall:

Under SB 131:

* The statute of limitations to file for damages is eliminated for victims who are 25 years old as of Jan. 1, 2014.

* For victims who are 26 as of Jan. 1, 2014, they will be able to file for damages until they are 48, or within five years from the date that a practicing physician or psychologist determines there is a connection between the victim's psychological injuries and the abuse they suffered as a youth.

* Victims who are 48 or older as of Jan. 1, 2014, will have a one-year window to sue their abuser.


USA Swimming, along with the Catholic Church, is opposing the bill primarily due to the fact that it does not include criminal punishment while opening up the statute of limitations for some reparations to be made for those that are proven to have been abused.