Pennsylvania state lawmaker, a Catholic clergy abuse victim himself, fights for reform


September 25, 2018

Pennsylvania lawmakers are expected to vote Tuesday on sweeping legislation to give child sex abuse victims more time to seek justice for crimes committed against them. On Monday night, the state house was lit in blue to honor survivors. Dozens of them have traveled to the capitol to urge legislators to pass the measure.

The survivors’ fight to change the laws in Pennsylvania gained momentum after last month’s landmark grand jury report into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Almost all of those cases are now too old for civil or criminal charges. A bipartisan group of legislators wants to change that.

“Judgment day is upon us, and this legislation will set the path straight,” Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi said at the rally. Rozzi understands Catholic clergy sex abuse victims in a way very few politicians can. He said his priest raped him when he was 13 years old.

“Being a victim of child sexual abuse has changed my entire life,” Rozzi told CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste.

Rozzi is leading the fight for what victims call the “window to justice,” giving them a two-year period to file civil lawsuits if their claims are already barred by the statute of limitations.

“They can go in there, identify their perpetrator, and also get compensation for the egregious crimes committed against them,” Rozzi said.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.