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Child Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitation Changes Proposed

September 26, 2013
Harrisburg- Legislation is being proposed in Harrisburg by a Dauphin County lawmaker to extend the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases in Pennsylvania.
 
Senate Bill 1103 would extend the statute of limitations in civil lawsuits for victims of childhood sexual abuse to age 50.
 
The bill would also open a two-year window for victims to file civil charges in cases where the statute of limitations has expired. Senator Teplitz says the purpose of the legislation is not to single out any institution in our society, profession, or any group in our community, rather it’s intended to give childhood victims of sexual abuse a chance to seek justice.
 
Senator Teplitz is working with State Representative Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, and a victim himself of childhood sexual abuse. Senate Bill 1103, and Representative Rozzi’s bill, House Bill 238, would also make child sexual abuse an exception to the sovereign immunity defense that shields school and government officials from being sued.
 
Since 2006, similar “window bills,” resulting from recommendations by the 2005 Philadelphia Archdiocese Grand Jury Report, have been stalled in both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Senator Teplitz says this legislation is the “right thing to do and is long overdue.”
 
Earlier this month, the California State Legislature, for the second time in 10 years, passed a bill, lifting the Statute of Limitations in sexual abuse cases. The 2003 one-year “window” bill, produced more than 1,000 filed suits resulting in the exposure of more than 300 sexual predators.
 
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