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When former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was given a 15-month jail sentence in April, it was only because of bank fraud. Even though he reportedly molested four boys, he wasn’t punished for that because the statute of limitations had expired.

You would think that if he actually abused them, it wouldn’t matter how much time had passed, and it’s scary to think that he could very easily have gotten away with it scot-free if not for some idiotic bank transactions connected with it.

In New York, where you only have until the age of 23 to bring charges against your childhood abuser, legislators were working on a bill to eliminate the statute of limitations once and for all in these cases.

Who would oppose something so sensible?

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, of course.


Donohue paid for a full-page ad in the Albany Times-Union last month denouncing the legislation. You can see the full ad here, but essentially, Donohue claimed the legislation was anti-Catholic — even though eliminating the statute would allow punishment for all pedophiles. He also deflected by saying there are teachers who have molested kids at a greater rate in public schools… as if taking second place in the Child Sexual Abuse Olympics was a badge of honor.

Unfortunately, that bill didn’t pass. It’s unclear if Donohue had anything to do with that, but it was a disappointing result nevertheless. And Donohue is now doing a victory lap in the most despicable was you can imagine. Look at his press release:

The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham: the proposed legislation that failed to make it to the floor of the New York State legislature in the wee hours of Saturday (the session that began on Friday ended at 5:00 a.m. the next day), was a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.

Leave it to Donohue to trash a bill that could have defended victims of child abuse, including kids who were molested by Catholic priests, and claim that advocates were out to “rape the Catholic Church.”

The man has no decency, no empathy, and no tact. The only reason this bill is a “victory” for him is because the Catholic Church had so much to lose if it passed.

(Image via Shutterstock. Large portions of this article were published earlier)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.