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FOX43 Capitol Beat – State Rep. Mark Rozzi

Berks County Democratic State Representative Mark Rozzi was this week's guest on the FOX43 Capitol Beat.

Rozzi sat down with FOX43 Morning News anchor Matt Maisel to discuss his push to reform Pennsylvania's statute of limitations laws when it comes to child sex abuse crimes.

Rozzi has been Pennsylvania's leading advocate for victims of child sex abuse since coming into office in 2013. Since then, he's told his story countless times; when he was 13 years old, Rozzi was raped by his priest at his childhood church in Reading. He says as he's gotten older, his trauma has gotten worse. Rozzi also considers himself fortunate; three of his childhood friends, also victims of the same priest, committed suicide.

Recently, the State Senate passed SB 261, which would give child victims until they turn 50 years old to seek civil damages against their abusers or those who could have potentially stopped the abuse. Current state law stops the window to sue at 30 years old.

Rozzi wants to eliminate any statute of limitation, and plans on re-introducing his proposal soon on the State House floor to do so.

His attempts to reform the state's statute of limitation laws have come close before. In 2016, his bill passed the State House by a 180-15 vote, before State Senators deemed language to eliminate the statute of limitations portion of the bill to be unconstitutional.

Rozzi says there is no better time than now to pass a new set of laws against child sex abuse, citing the Me Too movement, Bill Cosby sexual assault guilty verdict, and Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

An 800-plus page grand jury report is expected to be released in the coming days, detailing abuse by Catholic priests at six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Harrisburg.