By Dave Sutor
Two separate bills to extend the statutes of limitation for victims of child sexual abuse have been introduced into the Pennsylvania General Assembly this year.
Both would eliminate all age limits for criminal actions and civil lawsuits against alleged abusers going forward.
However, there is a major difference.
A House of Representatives bill – introduced by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, and supported by state Rep. Frank Burns from East Taylor Township – includes a two-year window in which past victims could file civil complaints against their alleged abusers. The Senate version does not contain any such retroactivity.
That point of contention led to the issue going unresolved last year when similar bills were debated after the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General issued a report – released one year ago on March 1, 2016 – that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown of covering up child sexual abuse.
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