On Wednesday, October 2, a Senate hearing in Pennsylvania will revisit child sex abuse laws. Lawmakers will attempt to reform the laws in place that will enable adult survivors who suffered from abuse as children to hold their abusers accountable for their criminal actions. Last year, lawmakers tabled talk of changing the laws and did not put the issue up for a vote. Several proposals will be up for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would change the currently restrictive statute of limitations for filing abuse claims for older cases. Experts will testify for or against changing the statute of limitations including constitutional lawyers, abuse victims and survivors, and advocates as well as Catholic Church representatives.
Two companion bills from the House will seek to revamp the statute of limitations, and a third bill from the Senate combines the reforms into one. Representative Mark Rozzi who is also an abuse survivor is sponsoring the House bill, HB 962, that would abolish the criminal statute of limitations going forward and proposes that abuse survivors would have until age 55 to file claims against their abusers. Meanwhile, Representative Jim Gregory counters that bill with HB 963, that requests a referendum to amend the state constitution and renew the expired statute of limitations. The Senate bill, SB 540, aims to lift the current statute of limitations and offer a two-year legal window for survivors to file claims for cases that expired under the statute of limitations.
If you or someone you love suffered from clergy abuse, our Pennsylvania clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar will pursue justice on your behalf. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide from our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey.