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The New York Child Victims Act makes a necessary change to long standing precedent in statutes of limitations in child sexual assault cases. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made this Act one of his top initiatives for 2018-19, and after the Legislature voted to approve the legislation on Monday Jan 28th,2019, it now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

The Child Victims Act will extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes to the age of 28 in criminal cases and the age of 50 in civil cases, with a one year-window to bring civil claims for victims below that age limit.

For more information on the act and if you feel that a claim can be revived, contact us today.

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Mental Health Worker Charged with Sexual Assault of a Child Patient

Oct 5, 2017 - News by

Brattleboro, VT – Robert Havens, a mental health worker at the Brattleboro Retreat, was arrested after allegations of sexually assaulting a minor while she was a patient at the center.

Havens, 48, is charged with sexual assault of a victim under the age of 16; lewd and lascivious conduct with a child; knowingly restraining a person with the intent of sexually assaulting the person; kidnapping a victim under the age of 16; and with taking, enticing or harboring a person without consent of the person’s custodian.

The victim was a patient at the Brattleboro Retreat from December 2016 to April 2017. Her mother gave a sworn statement to police regarding the nature of the relationship between her daughter and Havens, which began in March 2017. The victim told detectives, “(i)t felt like a real relationship… (Havens was) one of the only people I trusted”

On two occasions during the summer of 2017, Havens picked up the victim from her home in northern Vermont for overnight visits.  Havens posed as the father of a fictional friend of the victim. According to the detective, the victim stated they never had sex, but “sexual acts did happen.”

Videos and pictures of Havens and the minor were recovered from the victim’s phone.

The Brattleboro Retreat placed Havens on indefinite administrative leave.  He was an employee of the center for six years. A statement released by the Brattleboro Retreat states, “We consider this to be an extremely serious matter and are also conducting an internal investigation.”

Havens was released from jail with conditions including that he does not have contact with any children under 16 with the exception of his own biological daughters.

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*Photo Credit: Sentinel Source

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