Attorney General Shapiro Provides an Update in Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal
By Andrew Hyman
Erie News Now
October 4, 2018
State Attorney General, Josh Shapiro gave us an update on some of the pieces of the grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse. Among the topics covered were the sex abuse hotline, and a statute of limitations bill currently sitting in the Senate.
Shapiro says he spoke at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week to push for the release of all redacted names from the report.
He referred to people hiding their names as "cowards."
Shapiro also discussed the four recommendations outlined in the grand jury report, among the recommendations he addressed were:
Eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for sexually abusing children. Current law permits victims to come forward until age 50. The grand jury recommends eliminating the criminal statute of limitation entirely for such crimes.
Create a “civil window” so older victims may now sue for damages. Current law gives child sex abuse victims 12 years to sue, once they turn 18. But victims in their 30s and older fall under a different law; they only get two years. The grand jury called that “unacceptable” and recommends a limited “window” offering victims a chance to be heard in court for an additional two years.
Currently, Senate Bill 261, a bill aimed at the civil window, is under review by the state Senate after being passed through the House last week.
Shapiro reaffirmed his stance on a supposed lack of support for the grand jury recommendations from bishops, including Erie Catholic Diocese Bishop Lawrence Persico, by calling the situation "unfortunate."
Shapiro also announced the latest number of calls to the clergy sex abuse hotline. He says the hotline has reached 1,210 calls since the hotline was introduced on August 14.
The number for the hotline is 888-538-8541.
Shapiro says every call is taken down for information by his office, and it will then be forwarded to him, or another law enforcement agency to investigate.