Legislators Proposing Amendment To Sex Abuse Bill

The amendment would revive expired statute of limitations cases

Shelby Cassesse
September 18, 2018 - 4:34 pm

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Pennsylvania House is expected to propose an amendment to a bill in order to give sex abuse survivors with expired statute of limitations cases a two-year window to sue their abusers. 

Senate Bill 261 already passed in the Senate, and would abolish criminal prosecution and civil lawsuit time limits for survivors. Under current law, Pennsylvania victims can pursue criminal charges until they are 50 and file civil suits until they are 30. 

The amendment is expected to be presented in the House on Tuesday, September 25 by Representative Mark Rozzi, a survivor of clergy sex abuse. It is in line with one of the recommendations made by the grand jury in the bombshell Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report. 

While expected to pass in the House, the bill will return to the Senate where the amendment is having a more difficult time gaining traction. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman have expressed their opinions against the amendment, calling it unconstitutional. 

Senator Corman tells the KDKA Radio Afternoon News that he isn't opposed to the bill, but needs to review it more.

Senator Corman says, "I believe Representative Rozzi just filed the amendment today so we haven't even seen it yet."

"But we want to be on par with the Attorney General, we think the work he has done is important and so we are going to look at it and obviously if it meets Constitutional muster, I think it's something members will support."

Legislators will return to Harrisburg for short fall sessions Monday, September 24.