State House advances legislation to give victims of child sex abuse a new chance to seek justice

The Pennsylvania state House voted for a proposal that would give victims of child sexual abuse opportunity to seek justice

Tony Romeo
September 24, 2018 - 7:09 pm
August 14, 2018; Harrisburg, PA, USA; State representative Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) speaks to media about the findings of the grand jury's report means to him after the press conference

Ty Lohr/York Daily Record via USA TODAY NETWORK

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania state House has voted for a proposal long sought by victims of child sexual abuse that would give them a new opportunity to seek justice. 

State House Democrat Mark Rozzi of Berks County, a victim of child sex abuse, is the leading victim advocate in Harrisburg. 

“We as a body have an opportunity to vote on something that is historic,” Rozzi said. 

A short time later the House did vote overwhelmingly to open a two-year window for victims to file lawsuits, even if the statute of limitations has expired for them. 

The state House on Monday overwhelmingly approved an amendment, which means the amended bill needs another House vote before it goes to the Senate, where there are concerns about whether it violates the state constitution.

“It raises the question about the power of government," asked Republican state Rep. Michael Corr of Montgomery County. "And is anyone truly free from the reach of government?” 

A few House members said they share those concerns, while others objected to language in the House bill that would treat lawsuits filed against government entities differently than those filed against private entities.