Corey Feldman is celebrating a new California law that gives victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers.
“It was a great day,” Feldman told Radar after Gov. Gavin Newsom approved the law on Sunday.
The law gives victims until age 40, up from age 26, to file lawsuits. It also gives victims of all ages three years to sue, starting Jan. 1.
“The most important part is it creates a three-year lookback window. For the next three years, people are able to bring cases forward that happened prior to 2017,” Feldman told the outlet.
Feldman has publicly stated that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
“I’m able to bring my abusers to justice” thanks to the law, he said. “I can take them to court. I can at least get a civil trial going.”
Feldman filed a report with Los Angeles police in early November 2017 after publicly naming some of his alleged abusers while appearing on The Dr. Oz Show.
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The LAPD previously said that it dropped its investigation into Feldman’s claims that a pedophile ring had been victimizing young actors in Hollywood because too much time had passed since the alleged incidents.
“They’re going to have to listen now,” Feldman said to Radar. “They can’t say this is beyond the statue. Now they can’t say that anymore.”
Feldman took to Twitter to celebrate the news on Oct. 15.
“OMG! OMG! OMG!! The greatest news ever!!!! I just learned that @CAgovernor actually did it!!!! @GavinNewsom signed CA AB 218 into law in California!! Thank U @Marci_Hamilton & every1 @child_usa @ChildUSAdvocacy 4 all ur [sic] tireless work, & thank u 2 all my #FeldFam 4 the support!!” he wrote.
“I’m so incredibly elated, grateful & excited beyond imagination, thank u @GavinNewsom & thank u 2 each & every survivor who helped sign my letter 2 the senate, I can’t #Believe we actually won… but we won… CA AB218 passed into law! #Kids2 #Justice #Hope #Truth #PreserveInnocence.”
Feldman said his main focus is his documentary, which focuses on exposing an alleged Hollywood pedophile ring and reconstructing a celebrity world free of child abuse.
“The law goes into effect in January,” the Goonies actor said. “My documentary will be released in February.”
In October 2017, Feldman launched an Indiegogo campaign to help raise US$10 million (a “flexible” target) to make a movie about his life and to expose the alleged pedophile ring. He says he wants to make the movie without the help of a studio so he can avoid censorship, and that he will use the donated money to ensure the film gets distributed to theatres for wide release.
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Feldman claims to know six pedophiles currently working in the entertainment industry.
“One of them who is still very powerful today… and a story that links all the way up to a studio, it connects pedophilia to one of the major studios,” he said in his YouTube video about his “Truth Campaign.”
In March 2018, Feldman went to the state capitol in Albany, N.Y., to join demonstrators from a group called New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators and to help ensure that child sexual predators are brought to justice.
The Stand By Me actor joined advocates to push for a bill that gives victims more time to sue their abusers.
“My interview with the police was literally buried for 34 years. It sat at the bottom of a pile somewhere,” Feldman said at the time.
Feldman was pushing for the Child Victims Act, which would create a one-year window for victims of sexual assault to file a civil lawsuit against their abusers or any organization that may have enabled the abuse.
“As someone who was failed by the justice system because of a restrictive statute of limitations, I am proud to stand with so many survivors today to try to pass common-sense legislation,” Feldman said.
California is at least the third state this year to raise its statute of limitations.
Earlier this year, New York and New Jersey raised their statutes of limitations to age 55. New York also suspended its statute of limitations for one year, leading to hundreds of lawsuits against hospitals, schools, the Roman Catholic Church and late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Much of the opposition to the law in California came from school districts, which say the law goes too far. Lawsuits filed up to four decades after the fact make it much harder to gather evidence because witnesses are more likely to have moved away or died. Plus, the law changes the legal standard for liability, making it easier for victims to win in court.
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And if victims can prove entities tried to cover up the abuse, the court can multiply the damages by three.
“We don’t want to minimize or trivialize the trauma that’s associated with inappropriate sexual conduct in schools,” said Troy Flint, spokesman for the California School Boards Association. “This bill has a very real chance of bankrupting or impoverishing many districts, which would inhibit our ability to properly serve today’s students and students in years to come.”
—With files from Chris Jancelewicz and the Associated Press
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