Monday, September 30, 2013

Pennsylvania considers opening statute of limitations for sex crimes

Allegheny County State Rep. Ed Gainey is co-sponsoring legislative that would allow past victims of child sex abuse to bring civil charges against their perpetrators.

State Sen. Rob Teplitz,  of Dauphin County, unveiled companion legislation to H.B. 238, co-sponsored by Gainey, which would establish a two-year window during which the civil statute of limitations would be suspended to allow victims of child sex abuse to access the justice system and reveal guilty perpetrators.

"We are dealing with a statute of limitations that wants to put a constraint on the victim instead of giving him or her the power to have their day in court. We have an obligation to do the right thing. We have an obligation to make sure that we vote this into law and don't become a state that makes it easy for the perpetrator but make it a state that empowers the victim," said Gainey.

Supporters say similar legislation has unveiled hundreds of predators in California and Delaware.

"How many friends have come out to you years later and then you finally understand some of the emotional turmoil that they were going through? It's well past time to offer the same protection to Pennsylvanians who have been victims of these crimes," Gainey said.

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