State Senate members work late into the night, but still no passing of statute of limitations bill

Local News

The upper house working late Wednesday night trying to iron out the details in their child sex abuse bill, however, no bill was passed at the end of the session.

That bill would increase the age to file a civil suit from 30 to 50 for victims and eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions.  At issue is a new amendment that would open up a two-year window for victims who are past the statute to file a civil suit against their abuser only, and not the church itself. 

The move would make it virtually impossible for victims of abusers who have died to sue in the courts.  But earlier last night, in a break from the Senate leadership, Pennsylvania’s House Republican Leader, Dave Reed, warned that the House will reject Senate legislation that doesn’t allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue the Roman Catholic Church.  

Victim advocates, who were at the Capitol throughout the day, want the Senate to know where they stand. Victim Advocate Shaun Dougherty says, “I’m here to give the senators assurances that we will not go away. If we don’t get legislation today, with the civil window, we will be in your district tomorrow.”

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