Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Statute Of Limitations Priest Abuse Lawsuit

On Wednesday September 25, two Pennsylvania legislators will hold a press conference to unveil bills that would change the State’s current statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse.
State Rep. Mark Rozzi, along with state Sen. Rob Teplitz, have teamed together to garner support for legislation that would increase the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse to take civil action against alleged abusers.
Similar legislation has been passed in California and Delaware brought hundreds of sexual predators to justice and protected a generation of children.
Under the current statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, child victims of sexual abuse only have 12 years, or until they are 30, to bring charges against their abuser. After that, if they file claims, the victims can be sued by their predator for harassment.
The statute of limitations plays an important and long-standing role in criminal and civil jurisprudence. However, young victims of sex abuse are often reluctant to come forward. There are significant and unique barriers that prevent children from reporting what they intuitively know is inappropriate behavior.
In recent years revelations about the abuse of minors has rocked the Catholic Church, the Boy scouts of America, the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Communities in New York, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many of the cases uncovered go back decades, and had never been previously reported.
Both measures before the Pennsylvania legislature would establish a two-year window during which the civil statute of limitations would be suspended to allow past victims of child sex abuse to access the justice system and expose guilty perpetrators.
For Representative Mark Rozzi this bill is personal. He was 38 when he finally admitted that a priest at Catholic School had abused him when he was 13. The trigger for Rozzi was the suicide of a close friend who had also been abused by the same priest when they were children.
As Rep. Rozzi and Sen. Teplitz ready their bills it is also being reported that one of the most notorious sexual predators in Pennsylvania, Jerry Sandusky, is preparing to appeal his conviction. It has been hinted at that his appeal will challenge that many of the charges brought against him fell outside the State’s statute of limitations.
Please visit our dedicated Sexual Abuse Lawsuit website for more information
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