Grand jury investigating sex abuse in Harrisburg, Allentown Catholic dioceses

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Harrisburg Diocese

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is reportedly looking into allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Harrisburg as well as Allentown.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, confirmed he testified before the grand jury last month convened in Pittsburgh to discuss the sexual abuse he suffered from a priest in the Allentown diocese in the 1980s.

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg issued the following statement:

“The protection of our young is important to the Diocese and we have many safeguards and
policies in place and an extensive program committed to helping abuse survivors find healing
and recovery.
The Diocese of Harrisburg has received a Grand Jury subpoena from Pennsylvania’s Office of
Attorney General. At this time the Attorney General is seeking records from the Diocese and we
are fully cooperating with this process.
We encourage reports of abuse to the State Childline at 1-(800) 932-0313 and also to our tollfree
victim assistance number, 1-800-626-1608. We offer assistance in healing no matter when
the abuse happened.
If you have knowledge of anyone, anywhere who was hurt by a priest, employee or volunteer of
the Diocese of Harrisburg, please report the abuse immediately to the proper authorities and to
our victim assistance hotline. We will support their healing no matter how long ago the abuse
took place.”

The Diocese of Allentown did not confirm or deny whether it was being investigated.

Rozzi would not go into too much detail about his testimony, but he said he was also asked about HB 1947, a bill that would increase the statute of limitations on sex crimes as well as the amount of time victims would be allowed to sue those who abused them. It passed the House in April, but in June, the Senate Judiciary committee argued it was unconstitutional before making changes to the bill and sending it back to the House.

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