For the past six years, Pennsylvania lawmakers have pushed for legislation that would give child sexual abuse victims more time to file criminal and civil lawsuit against their abusers. Currently, victims have until age 30 to file civil complaints, and age 50 to file criminal charges. The legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on Thursday after Committee Chairman Ron Marsico (R., Dauphin) consolidated two bills into one. The new legislation would end the statute of limitations on criminal prosecutions for child-sex abuse cases, and extend the statute of limitations on civil cases until the victim reaches age 50.
While the bill is considered a step forward, it still must be passed by the Rules Committee before it can reach the full House. Philly.com reports that Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) will review the bill.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference opposed the bill saying the changes in the statutes of limitations will make it “impossible for organizations to defend themselves” and that it will “only result in a flood of lawsuits and big checks for lawyers.”