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Decades later, women file sex abuse complaints in Cayuga County, push for law changes

Pamela Deacon O'Grady remembers the first time she met him.

It was the summer of 1978. A clarinet player at Auburn High School, O'Grady was learning the music for the fall marching band. She had just graduated from eighth grade.

"I walked in (the high school band room) and saw him for the first time," she said. "I remember how nervous and intimidated I was … because he was so tall."

He was her music teacher. She was 14 years old.

For the next five years, O'Grady said, he would sexually abuse her — in the band office, in the auditorium, in his car and in his home. He told her not to tell.

"I never told the secret," O'Grady said, "until now."

But now, she said, it's too late.

"Due to New York's statute of limitations, it's too late to press charges," she said. "Because of the statute of limitations, there is nothing I can do."

That could change, however, for future sex abuse victims, as proposed state legislation aims to extend or eliminate the statute of limitations.

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