Child Sex Abuse Victims Bill Advancing Through State Legislature

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (News Radio 1020 KDKA) – A state House committee has advanced a Senate-passed bill that would allow more time for victims of child sex abuse to seek justice. But it appears that the House and Senate are headed for the same standoff that prevented a bill from going to the governor in the legislature’s last two-year session.

Advocates want those adult victims of child sex abuse for whom the statute of limitations has already expired to be able to file lawsuits. But the state Senate, believing that to be unconstitutional, insists that legislation to lengthen the statutes of limitations apply only going forward.

The House Judiciary Committee Tuesday advanced the Senate bill without a retroactivity provision.

But the chairman says he expects that language will be amended into the bill on the House floor.

House Democrat and child sex abuse victim Mark Rozzi believes the pending results of a another investigation by a statewide grand jury could break the stalemate.

“When that comes out, I think it’s going to be the most damning document, as far as a grand jury goes, ever in the United States,” said Rozzi.

Rozzi says lawmakers should let the state Supreme Court decide the constitutionality of retroactivity.

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