ALBANY, N.Y. - Wednesday marks the first day for a new law in New York State -- the Child Victims Act.
Thousands of people who say they were molested as children in New York state plan to file lawsuits this week against their alleged abusers and the institutions where they worked.
The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, public schools and hospitals are among the many institutions expected to be named as defendants in the suits.
In a statement, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul expressed her stance on the newly passed measure.
"If you in your depraved heart had the audacity to touch a child - and I don't care if it was 50 or 60 years ago - your day of reckoning is now. And I will say, there is a special place in hell for anyone who is in an adult position of authority and supposed respect. Whether you're a member of the clergy, a teacher, a scout master, a family member, or a neighbor - you are no longer protected and you can no longer hide in the shadows."
The first cases will be filed Wednesday, the start of a one-year litigation window in New York allowing people to file civil lawsuits that had previously been barred by the state's statute of limitations, which were among the nation's tightest.
Lawmakers voted this year to extend the statute of limitations going forward and to create the one-year litigation window to give victims a new chance to file lawsuits.