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Legislator calls for reform to Statute of Limitations law for victims of child sexual abuse

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape joined a group of Pennsylvania legislators led by State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks to discuss legislative efforts that would expand the amount of time victims of child sexual abuse are afforded to take civil action against their alleged abuser April 15 at the Harrisburg Capitol.

"Pennsylvania has the opportunity to be on the right side of change," Rozzi said. "We no longer want to be known nationally as the epicenter for child sexual abuse. I hope the Judiciary Committee chairmen will do the right thing and take up legislation that gives victims a voice."

Rozzi said the reform package includes House Bill 661 and Senate Bill 582, introduced by Rozzi and state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin, in their respective chambers, which would raise the age at which an adult victim of child sex abuse could file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years old. Previously time-barred victims would be permitted to bring suit. Rep. Louise Williams Bishop’s House Bill 655 would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases of child sex abuse, and Rep. Tom Murt’s H.B. 951 calls for a two-year window for past victims to have the opportunity to file civil suits.

State Reps. Mike O’Brien and Louise Williams Bishop, both D-Phila., and Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., also stood in support of their legislative reforms to the state’s statute of limitations laws.

Related: Statute of Limitations Press Conference photo gallery