Victim speaks out after child sex abuse law stripped of amendment

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A bill that would abolish the statute of limitations on child sex crimes is headed back to the State House.

But Rep. Mark Rozzi said House Bill 1947 was stripped in the Senate of the amendment that would make it retroactive.

Rozzi said, "The Senate gutted that provision and then tried to pass a bill that only helped prospective victims, it was a slap in the face. It was revictimizing those victims again that really wanted to go into a court of law and have their voices heard."

One of those voices is Shaun Dougherty's. He said the retroactive part of the bill would help him get justice..

Dougherty said, "Litigation allows me to find out which former ADAs, which former district attorneys, which current judges, which current police chiefs, which current teachers, which current everything are willing to turn their head when an adult man rapes a child."

He said he was sexually assaulted when he was 10 years old by a priest from the Altoona Johnstown Diocese, and he wants his case heard in a court of law.

He said one of the senators who made the decision to take the retroactive part out of the bill is Joe Scarnati.

"Joe Scarnati is putting an extreme amount of pressure on other leadership to make sure the retroactivity part, me, never gets to see the court of law," Dougherty said.

But he's determined to tell his story.

"Scarnati does not have the right to squash me out of this. He has the right to vote against me when the vote comes to the floor. He has every right to vote against me. He does not have the right to prevent me from justice," he said.

We reached out to Scarnati, but he did not respond. And Rozzi said we aren't the only ones trying to get ahold of him.

"Victims have been trying to make an appointment with his office for weeks now, for months. Just to get two minutes with him. And even as a state representative, I have not been able to get in to see the senator myself," he said.

The bill will be voted on in the House.