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Man sues Tucson church, Episcopal diocese over abuse allegations

Posted: 10:50 PM, Jul 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-23 01:50:17-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — In May, a big change in Arizona law was made for reporting sexual assault. And less than two months later, a man filed a lawsuit against the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a Tucson church.

Charles Taylor filed the civil complaint in Pima County Superior Court on July 12.

The complaint states Grace St. Paul's church staff ignored reports of sexual misconduct by an Episcopalian priest in the 1970's.

Taylor says he filed a complaint in 1991, but it was tossed out, because it didn't meet the statute of limitations.

At the end of May, a new law went into effect that expands the window for sexual abuse victims.

"I know that I deserve justice, and we are going to make sure that everyone in this state, under the new law will have justice and our day in court," Taylor said at a press conference in downtown Tucson on Monday.

The change in law gives victims until their 30th birthday to file complaints in court, which is a decade longer than before. It also allows those who have missed the cutoff, like Taylor, the option to sue until Dec. 31, 2020.

The Sixth Episcopal Bishop of Arizona issued a statement on the complaint, that reads in part:

"I pray that this time we will be able to find a resolution that is faithful to our call as Christians, and mindful of our role as stewards of our churches."