Louisiana Supreme Court Upholds Lookback Window Giving Child Sex Abuse Survivors a Second Chance at Justice

by Kristi S. Schubert

Today, June 12, 2024, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Louisiana Lookback Window, a widely praised law originally passed unanimously by the legislature in 2021. The law revived all previously expired childhood sexual abuse claims in Louisiana, thereby giving countless childhood sexual abuse survivors a second chance at justice and forcing child molesters to finally take responsibility for the harm that they caused. Survivors had been anxiously awaiting today’s ruling ever since the Court agreed to reexamine Bienvenu v. Defendant 1, 2023-CC-1194 (La. 3/22/2024), a highly controversial ruling the Court issued in March 2024, which struck down the Lookback Window as unconstitutional.

Attorney Kristi S. Schubert, of the Lamothe Law Firm, LLC, states “Louisiana’s constitutional scholars can collectively breathe a sigh of relief. Our Supreme Court has set things right again. This ruling recognizes the Louisiana Legislature’s undeniable inherent power to enact reasonable laws designed to protect Louisiana’s children – even when it will upset the prior expectations of pedophiles and the organizations that promote abusers. This ruling shows that it is never too late to restore justice. There are child molesters out there right now who are shaking in their boots. They thought they were safe and that they had gotten away with the abuse scot-free. But that’s all changed now. Many abuse survivors have been waiting for decades to tell their story. They just needed the right platform. The Legislature gave them that platform when it passed the Lookback Window law. And the Court has just given the survivors the green light.”

Attorney Frank E. Lamothe, III, states “I am thankful that the Court saw the error in its original opinion and was willing to reconsider this matter and find the Lookback Window to be constitutional. This is a victory for the survivors of child sex abuse.”

Attorney Kristi S. Schubert, adds “The survivor community fought incredibly hard for this victory. And as wonderful as it is, it is also bittersweet because in the three years they were forced to spend litigating this baseless constitutional challenge, we’ve had to mourn the death of multiple survivors who had hoped to come forward under this law. For those survivors, justice delayed was truly justice denied. And having spent years litigating against organizations with long histories of promoting pedophiles, I know better than to assume that the fight is over with this ruling. Certain organizations have too much money at stake and they’ll use every underhanded trick in the book to try to hold on to it. I won’t be surprised in the future to see them fabricate all kinds of new groundless constitutional challenges and absurd technical defects in order to try to once again weasel out of taking responsibility. Those organizations would love nothing more than to litigate frivolous challenges tooth and nail until the survivors either die or give up from exhaustion. Hopefully the courts won’t entertain such sinister tactics. Enough is enough. It is time for healing.”

Frank Lamothe, Kristi Schubert and Julien Lamothe are attorneys with extensive experience having represented hundreds of childhood sexual abuse survivors.

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