Martin Issues Statement on Legislation Addressing Statutes of Limitations in Child Sex Abuse Cases

HARRISBURG – Senator Scott Martin (R-13) issued the following statement today regarding legislation extending the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes:

“The allegations in the recent grand jury report involving child sexual abuse are horrific and the victims have suffered greatly.   The scourge of child sexual abuse is too rampant in our communities with one in four girls and one and ten boys being impacted.  That is why I am deeply disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement with the House of Representatives regarding the statute of limitations for child sex abuse. I believe all sides in this debate share a common goal of supporting survivors and doing everything in our power to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Unfortunately, the bill approved by the House of Representatives included numerous flaws, including the fact that two of the four recommendations in the grand jury report were left unaddressed.”

“One of the serious concerns is the fact that the House version created separate classes of victims based solely on the abuser’s employer, specifically giving preference to public institutions.  An alleged abuser’s employer should make no difference on the legal rights of victims. Abuse is abuse, no matter where it takes place. We cannot pass a bill that treats some victims better than others, especially with the number of abuse cases that occur through public institutions.  That is simply unacceptable.  Every victim should be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”

“I am hopeful that the House of Representatives will continue to work with the Senate to reach a final compromise that will help prevent similar abuses and allow survivors to find justice. As work continues on this proposal, I encourage all state residents to make use of Pennsylvania’s ChildLine abuse reporting system if they have any concerns regarding potential cases of child abuse.”

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