Group heading to Harrisburg rally to push for retroactivity in sex-abuse statute of limitations bill


By David Hurst

Advocates pushing for a proposal that would hold Pennsylvania child sex abusers accountable for crimes committed years ago are heading to Harrisburg next week to deliver a loud message to state lawmakers to support the plan.

That message: Anything that doesn’t hold past abusers accountable will only enable such acts to reoccurring, according to Shaun Dougherty, a Westmont resident who, in the past year, has identified himself as a victim of sex abuse by clergy in the 1980s.

“Without that retroactivity portion, any bill they pass is not a protective measure, it’s an enabler’s bill,” he said.

Dougherty is among a group of Pennsylvanians pushing for the change who are planning to hold a rally at the State Capitol Building’s front steps at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

They’ll be joined by a Harrisburg ally, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a three-term Berks County Democrat and onetime sex abuse victim, whose House bill includes language adding a retroactive statute of limitations window.

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