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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: September 16, 2013 04:45 PM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz
To: All Senate members
Subject: “Open the Window” on Statute of Limitation for Victims of Child Sex Abuse
After the Sandusky scandal broke, the Task Force for Child Protection was assembled. In November it presented its’ recommendations, calling for sweeping reforms regarding mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse as well as upgrades to laws and procedures governing child protection. However, the task force did nothing to provide past victims with the most powerful tool they could use to expose their predators and potentially prevent future abuse.

For this reason, I plan on introducing legislation identical to Rep. McGeehan and Rep. Rozzi’s bill called, “opening the window” on the statute of limitations. This legislation will call for a one-time creation of a two-year window which suspends the civil statute of limitations to allow past victims of child sex abuse to access the justice system and have the opportunity to subpoena records and files and depose suspects. The burden of proof is on the victim to prove “gross negligence.”

The proposal will also make child sex abuse an exception to the sovereign immunity defense from public officials and institutions. When it can be proven that a person or entity, private or public, knowingly put a child in harm’s way, then they should be able to be prosecuted.

It is time to protect survivors of childhood sexual abuse and provide them with the opportunity to seek justice. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1103