Sexual Abuse Victims Want Pennsylvania to Change Statute of Limitations

Survivors of sexual abuse are calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass new legislation that will change the current statute of limitations and make it easier for victims to report abuse.

Current Pennsylvania law requires victims to sue before they turn 30 and the Senate's top-ranking Republican, President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, contends that retroactive changes aren't constitutional.

But speakers gathered in King of Prussia on Tuesday asked local officials to adopt a two-year window in which victims can report abuse. Those speakers included athletes assaulted by former Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar and Catholics victimized by the so-called predator priests revealed in a recent grand jury report

Delaware already adopted similar legislation.  

Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Turzai said his chamber is poised to take up changes to the state's limits on child sexual abuse lawsuits, predicting the two-year window would likely pass.

Turzai on Wednesday called it "a compromise" compared to a different proposal to entirely eliminate limits of lawsuits for victims of all ages.

Last month's sweeping grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church also recommended a two-year window.

Scarnati supports a church-endowed victims' compensation fund.

The chambers begin short fall sessions Sept. 24.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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