Pennsylvanians to get more time on sex abuse charges, suits after grand jury report

Associated Press

Nov. 26, 2019

By Mark Scolforo

The state where a grand jury’s groundbreaking report set off a new wave of reckoning over sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church passed legislation Thursday giving victims more time to sue and police more time to file charges.

The Pennsylvania House sent the statute-of-limitations bill to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf with a 182-5 vote, along with a measure that invalidates secrecy agreements in lawsuit settlements that prevent child sexual abuse victims from talking to investigators.

“This has been a long and trying process, and we are finally at the finish line,” the statute-of-limitations bill’s prime champion, Berks County Democratic Rep. Mark Rozzi, told fellow lawmakers. “Justice is coming.”

Wolf’s office said he intends to sign the bills and a third measure that increases and clarifies penalties for mandated reporters who do not report suspected child abuse.

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Spokesman J.J. Abbott said Wolf “thanks the brave victims that made these changes possible by sharing their stories and fighting for justice.”

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