Milwaukee — Matt Flynn today unveiled several significant reforms to the Wisconsin criminal and civil justice systems. Based on his years working as an attorney, Flynn has the experience to propose changes in the handling of cases involving victims of child sexual abuse and assault.

“My years working as an attorney left me with a profound understanding of the failings of our criminal and civil justice systems in these cases. Victims suffer at the hands of abusers. The criminal and civil justice systems should be improved to spare these victims further suffering in the pursuit of justice,” said Flynn.

Flynn’s proposed reforms include:

  • Extending the statute of limitations for civil claims for sexual abuse of minors to be the same as the statute of limitations for the corresponding criminal prosecutions.
  • Strengthening penalties for non-compliance with mandatory reporting requirements.
  • Requiring that depositions of any victim of child abuse, at the election of the victim, will be taken in the office of a court commissioner and presided over by the commissioner. Commissioner fees will be taxed as costs against the perpetrator if the claim is successful. If the claim is not successful, the chief judge, in his or her discretion, may pay the commissioner fees from a fund to be provided for that purpose. This will protect victims from abuse by bad lawyers, and will shield good lawyers from untrue allegations of misconduct in the depositions.
  • Increasing criminal penalties for those who sexually abuse children with developmental delays or disabilities.
  • Putting additional resources behind efforts to stop child trafficking in Wisconsin, including increased criminal penalties for traffickers and training to recognize and respond to trafficking crimes and its victims.
  • Increasing funding for foster care support programs, and passing a Foster Care Bill of Rights that guarantees help and support to those in the foster care system and transition services to help those that age out of foster care.
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