|Posted:||January 9, 2013 01:04 PM|
|From:||Representative Michael P. McGeehan and Rep. Mark Rozzi|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||"Open the Window" on Statute of Limitations for Victims of Child Sex Abuse|
|We have witnessed what happens when institutions cover-up wrong doing to protect reputations and legacies. The disgrace that befell the Philadelphia Archdiocese and the Penn State travesty reminds us that when our schools, churches, clubs for boys and girls turn a blind eye to criminality of the worst kind, we need to DO something about it. No predator should ever be protected when they violate an innocent.
After the Sandusky scandal broke, with the eyes of the world watching, the Task Force for Child Protection was assembled and rendered its recommendations in November. The report called 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 failed to take up the most powerful tool
designed to expose predators and to afford victims the justice they deserve.
We plan to re-introduce legislation that calls 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…to have the opportunity to subpoena records and files and depose suspects. The burden of proof is on the victim to prove “gross negligence”.
Additionally, the proposal makes child sex abuse an exception to the sovereign immunity defense for public officials and institutions. If it can be proven that a person or entity, public or private, knowingly put a child in harm’s way, then they should be able to be prosecuted.
In light of the guilty verdicts rendered in June in Pennsylvania’s two landmark cases against Sandusky and Lynn and the fallout from the Boy Scouts of America and so many other horrific tales that came to light this past session, it’s time to put victims first.* Please join us by co-sponsoring this legislation. Thank you.
Introduced as HB238