Child sex abuse survivor urges Georgia senators to pass bill

Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - An Athens man who says he was sexually abused as a child by his late Boy Scouts scoutmaster hopes to pressure the Georgia Senate to “do the right thing” by strengthening protections for future sex abuse victims.

“I’ve been living with the effects of childhood sexual abuse since I was 12,” said Alan McArthur, who’s now in his 50s.

McArthur said he was abused by his late scoutmaster for four years.

“It happened on camping trips,” McArthur said. “It happened at his business.”

McArthur has sued the Boy Scouts of America, which has filed for bankruptcy protection. He’s also sued the estate of his alleged abuser and others who knew about the abuse but did nothing about it.

“I just want my day in court. I want my voice to be heard,” he said. “I think I deserve that.”

House Bill 109 would provide greater protections for child sex abuse survivors in Georgia, in part, by extending the statute of limitations for legal action in such cases. The Georgia House passed the bill unanimously last year, but it hasn’t even gotten a hearing in the Senate.

“I’m hoping that we can get this done,” said State Rep. Heath Clark of Warner Robbins, the bipartisan bill’s main sponsor. “It has just stalled, and I’ve never been given a good reason.”

McArthur wonders if perhaps an entity that may have helped cover up child sex abuse in the past is being protected.

“These Georgia senators and others that are standing in the way are only emboldening abusers to abuse more,” McArthur said.

According to Clark, all the Senate needs to do is agree to the changes the House made to the bill and it would be on its way to the governor’s desk.

Time is running out. Monday is the last day of the session.