Senate hearing scheduled regarding statute of limitation reform bills for victims of sexual abuse

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- On Wednesday the Senate is scheduled to hold a meeting in Harrisburg regarding a series of statute of limitation reform bills.

Prior to the October 2 hearing, victims and survivors of sexual assault were invited to share their stories. The State's Victim Advocate, Jennifer Storm, will be presenting the stories to lawmakers at the hearing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will also hear from Catholic leaders, and constitutional law experts.

In March, State Representative Mark Rozzi came to FOX43 and spoke with Matt Maisel during his Capitol Beat segment. He openly shared about his own sexual abuse in the Catholic church when he was a child.

Since Rozzi took office in 2013 he has made statute of limitations reform his most important legislative issue. Touting that sometimes compensation funds aren't always enough.

Rozzi said although he supports compensation funds, they continue to just be a cover up for the victims.

Lawmakers are considering three different bills:

House Bill 962, which extends the civil statute of limitations for child victims to age 55 and removes the sovereign and government immunity going forward. It would also abolish the criminal statute of limitations, but only for children.

House Bill 963, calls for a constitutional amendment that would open a two-year window for child victims that were previously time-barred.

Senate Bill 540, would fully abolish both the criminal and civil statute of limitations for all child and adult victims of sexual abuse. It would also further create a two-year retroactive window, allowing those previously time barred, regardless of age, to have an opportunity to file suit against their abuser and/or institution who knowingly concealed the abuse.

The period to submit a testimony closed on September 20. The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, and no votes are expected.
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