Sex abuse cases: ‘I have a personal stake in this’ (Video)

Philadelphia Business Journal

Jeff Blumenthal
Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal

Last week, I interviewed Marci Hamilton, a lawyer representing victims in the Sandusky and Philadelphia Archdiocese child abuse scandals, as part of our Inside the Reporters Notebook series. And it was a lively discussion where the audience included some knowledgeable people on child sexual abuse matters, including former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham and Support Center for Child Advocates Executive Director Frank Cervone.

But the session was not a one-sided affair. In an exchange that can be viewed in full on the link above, an audience member questioned the “wisdom and constitutionality” of so-called window legislation that would lengthen Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations period for when alleged victims can file lawsuits against accused predators. He also asked Hamilton if she was benefitting financially from her work on the Sandusky and Archdiocese cases.

Hamilton’s pointed response explained what she says is a personal reason for her involvement. She is a professor at Cardozo School of Law and not a litigator by trade. But she said she was incensed on February 10, 2011, when a Philadelphia Grand Jury released a report following an investigation into allegations that two priests and a teacher sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish in Philadelphia, and that another priest assigned to St. Jerome sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy.

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