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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2017 10:16 AM
From: Representative Mark Rozzi
To: All House members
One in 4 girls and one is 6 boys in your district have been sexually abused before the age of 18. Only one in 10 will ever tell. You probably interact with survivors every day. Although I too, am a victim of child sexual abuse, I did not realize the magnitude of this epidemic until the scathing Altoona/Johnstown Diocese Grand Jury Report was released last March. My office received letters, e-mails, phone calls and personal visits from victims from every corner of the state, and beyond. I heard heartfelt pleas from grown men and women whose lives had been destroyed by ministers of every denomination, scout leaders, public and private school teachers, coaches, missionaries and worst of all, family members.

Following the flood of hotline calls received in the wake of the report, the Office of the Attorney General is conducting a, first in the nation, state-wide grand jury investigation of all eight Roman Catholic dioceses. I was subpoenaed to testify regarding the Allentown diocese.

The enormity of this investigation, as told to me by fellow witnesses and survivors, will rock each of us to the core. We cannot wait for the final conclusion to understand that as legislators, we must enact the key recommendations of the previous four grand juries* with respect to statute of limitation (SOL) reform NOW.

In the next several days, I will introduce an SOL reform measure which will eliminate the criminal and civil statutes of limitations for childhood sexual assault claims and allow for a 2 year revival civil window, so that past victims of childhood sexual abuse can have the opportunity to bring suit, if they have the evidence to do so. Any language offered short of these key elements, in light of what we now know given our experience with Sandusky, Cosby and countless other perpetrators, is a travesty.

If you agree that we as legislators, have the civic and moral obligation to institute laws that safeguard our citizens… especially those who cannot protect themselves, then please co-sponsor this legislation on behalf of ALL victims of childhood sexual abuse. Thank you.

* Philadelphia PA - Report of the Grand Jury, September 25, 2003
Philadelphia PA - Grand Jury Report, September 15, 2005
Philadelphia PA - Report of the Grand Jury, dated January 21, 2011
Altoona-Johnstown PA - Report of the Grand Jury, March 1, 2016.

Introduced as HB612