Many of you have been contacting State Representative and judiciary chairman Ronald Marsico in regard to the childhood sex abuse statute of limitations reform bills that he seems to be ignoring. Here’s a clip you’ll appreciate. Click to watch child sex abuse survivor Al Chesley as he calls out Marsico on MSNBC today.
25 thoughts on “Marsico Called Out On MSNBC For Inaction by Former Eagle”
This is a must watch for all the C4C followers who have been emailing and calling Marsico’s office. Al Chesley joined us at the justice4PAkids press conference in Harrisburg and was one of the featured speakers. He is a mountain of a man with a heart as big as his build. He grabs everyone in a bear hug and all are his friends within a few minutes of meeting him. His comments, around the 4 minute mark on the video, are a “shout out” to all of the efforts of people, including the followers of C4C, in pursuing justice for victims and protection of children in Pa. Al used his time on national TV to help all of us and our efforts – a great man indeed.
Al you are a GOOD MAN that DID NOT FAIL to act to protect kids and for that I thankyou.
Is Marsico a Catholic? Is he an abuser? His apparent inability to present these bills could be the result of his being both, or neither. How did he get elected? Will he be elected again? I too would like to thank Al for his coments and for being te brave man that e is.
He is catholic.
Thanks, Beth. I figured he probably is. What a mess! Keep up the good fight. It’s worth it.
Kay and others, It doesn’t make any difference if Marisco is Catholic, or Italian or Irish. He’s an insensitive (bullying) male who is unwilling to put himself in the place of a 10 year old child – whether that child is 15 years old now or 30 years old now. He appears to have an agenda of protecting priests and other pedophiles of whatever religion or status in life. I can think of no other disgraceful undertaking on the part of any man than trying to shield sexual predators. Can he not picture himself at the vulnerable age of 10 being groomed, sweet talked, and persuaded that what is being done to him or he is having to perform in the name of “God” is a good thing?
You are right, Reid. I have been hearing about Marsico for some time. Is there someone else in your congress who might take up the banner? Marisco sounds like he’s not only catholic, but he would be an excellent bishop! His way or no way at all! Good luck. I thought Kansas was the only retard state. We all have a lot of work to do.
Kay4Justice and others,
It will be interesting to see, if in the light of the Penn State University sexual assault and cover-up scandle of various top officials, whether State Representative and Judiciary Committee chairman Ronald Marisco will be SHAMED into backing off his stance – and whether other representatives will pressure him into it if he doesn’t have the ethics and morality to do it himself
I sincerely hope that that happens! All best wishes and please keep me posted.
I’ve called his Harrisburg office and district office dozens of times. Faxed and sent letters to both and not even the courtesy of a response. It appears that his chief of staff, Autumn Southard and counsel to the Judiciary Committee, Ryan Boop were both instructed not to pick up their phones or discuss these bills with anyone. Interestingly, both individuals have very young children and I had reminded them of the irony of their working for a man who does not care about the safety and protection of the children of the Commonweath.
Check his website……there is a video with Marsico and the former chairman, Caltagirone. If you recall, during the last session where these proposals were offered, Caltagirone refused to have hearings claiming that the victims’ only interest was the MONEY. Funny how we haven’t heard that bogus argument for quite some time……..at least Caltagirone took a stand, though vicious and unfounded………..When is Marsico going to stand up and take a position?
What is Marsico’s legislative district like. Are there pressure points?
When is he up for reelection? Who are his donors? That info should be available through PA Fair Political Practices unit.
I think it’s time to take a good hard look at this man!
Go get them, Michael. Your tenacity is inspiring.
i did get a quick response to my e mail but it was negative here is some of it :
You have referred specifically to HB 832 and HB 878 and characterized anything less than support of these bills the equivalent of protecting perpetrators at the expense of victims. I disagree but understand how you might see the issue as black and white, and draw such a conclusion. On their face, the bills would seem to be reasonable and necessary to protect vulnerable children. Though the intention of the bills and their sponsors may be laudable, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee I have a responsibility to ensure that any piece of legislation designed to protect victims does not do so in a way that our courts have expressly disapproved or create unintended consequences that seriously undermine other important rights of all of our citizens.
We live under federal and state constitutions that establish limits on the government though they often interfere with our ability to protect our citizens as well as we might otherwise. We accept that consequence in spite of the fact that guilty persons sometimes go free to ensure we protect the rights and freedoms of innocent, law abiding citizens. Were we to be able to draft legislation that would only apply to the guilty, our job would be simple. Freedom would not be threatened for example by lifting the requirement of probable cause and a judicial warrant before a guilty person’s house is searched. Likewise, the innocent citizen would have no concern if the police could force only the guilty to confess. However, our system of justice applies equally to guilty and innocent people because, until a matter is adjudicated, we do not know who is and who is not guilty. We can only protect the innocent by presuming all to be innocent until proven guilty and enacting our laws cognizant of that guiding principle.
Our constitutions also establish the courts as the branch of government that makes the final determination of what the constitution requires and what the law means. The executive and legislative branches must defer to the judiciary’s pronouncements and respect their authority. To ignore binding precedents would violate a member’s oath to uphold the constitution and would seriously threaten our system of law.
It is respect for these principles that restrain me from supporting HB 832 and HB 878. I will try to explain why that is so.
HB 832 would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil claims involving child sexual abuse, where sexual conduct between an adult and the plaintiff occurred as a result of compulsion or threats. It would also eliminate the existing criminal statute of limitations for enumerated offenses involving sexual abuse of a child.
HB 878 would extend the existing statute of limitations for civil claims from 12 years after adulthood to 32 years after attaining the age of 18. It also would establish a “window” of two years during which claims that are barred under the current statute of limitations would be “revived”, allowing a suit to commence during that period. A suit previously brought and dismissed as being untimely could be revived upon petition and showing of newly discovered evidence, excusable neglect or other “extraordinary circumstances”.
Though they may appear sensible on their face, each of these bills has serious legal and policy flaws in my judgment. Pennsylvania’s courts have consistently ruled that an act of the General Assembly cannot extend the statute of limitations for a civil or criminal claim that is already been barred under the existing law. This rule of law has no doubt left some terrible wrongs without redress but represents a recognition by the courts that laws which bar claims after a period of time would be meaningless if the legislature could simply restore them at will. HB 878 therefore attempts to do what the courts have consistently said the General Assembly cannot do. Were we to ignore the court’s authority, we would violate our oath as members of the legislature.
Just as importantly, in spite of the fact that statutes of limitation might sometimes result in a harm no longer having a remedy, they serve an important public purpose, particularly in civil cases where the burden of proof on the plaintiff is a mere preponderance of the evidence. Limitations not only provide finality to old claims that could have been asserted over significant periods of time, they serve an important role in protecting the rights of innocent persons. Statutes of limitation always represent a balancing of the rights of persons harmed against the rights of innocent persons who otherwise would be called upon to defend against a claim that is alleged to have occurred many years before.
When the General Assembly enacted Act 86 in 2002 which extended the civil statute of limitations to the plaintiff’s 30th birthday, it struck that balance by giving a victim of abuse the ability to sue long after the alleged wrong occurred. Though this extended limitations period may still result in a liable party escaping justice, it was established to protect the innocent person from having to account for his whereabouts and activities after 20, 30 or 50 years, when memories are likely to have lapsed and witnesses who could have established the truth are deceased or otherwise unavailable.
The Penn State tragedy is cited as an example of why, in spite of these considerations, HB 832 and HB 878 should be enacted. However, it does not appear they would have any impact on the victims’ remedies or the prosecution of the alleged perpetrator. Clearly, the existing statute of limitations was sufficient to give the Attorney General the ability to prosecute Mr. Sandusky for crimes against each child, though some of the incidents alleged occurred more than 15 years ago. Nor is there any indication now that the existing civil statute of limitations would leave any of the victims unable to pursue civil remedies as none has reached his 30th birthday according to the grand jury presentment.
During my time in the legislature and particularly as a member and now chair of the judiciary committee, I have consistently sponsored and supported legislation that enhances public safety and supports victims and will always continue to do so. I hope I have adequately articulated why I cannot support these particular bills and that you will understand that my inability to do in no way suggests a lack of support for these or other victims of child sexual abuse.
Again I want to thank you for expressing your views and for allowing me the opportunity to explain mine. If in the future, I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Ronald S. Marsico
105th Legislative District
From a non lawyer point of view, I found Rep. Marisco’s arguments somewhat contradictory. He cites constitutional concerns and a General Assembly prohibition against extending SOLs.
Then he allows that in 2002, PA DID extend the civil statutes of limitations with Act 86 to the plaintiffs 30th birthday…(what happened to those constitutional issues and General Assembly prohibitions in 2002, with Act 86?)
Then, ala Penn State, he indicates that victims in the Sandusky matter were young enough to fit in that under thirty category…a politically popular concern, perhaps.
What he neglected to mention relative to Penn State, was that many more much older Sandusky victims may well emerge who would NOT fit in the under 30 ‘window’
Pretty weak arguments,
Below I am posting Marci Hamiltons description of the opening up of the statute of limitations in CA…who clearly did NOT have a constitutional problem:
The Facts Learned from the California Experiment
There is no question that the California legislation was passed in part as a response to the public revelations about the cover-up of child sex abuse by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, stemming from the investigative reporting in the Boston Globe. But the legislators did not pass the window legislation to apply solely to the Church. The legislators took what they had learned from the problems with the hierarchy of the Church – the fact of pervasive and hidden child sex abuse – and then passed legislation to benefit all victims of child sex abuse. Thus, the legislation was not at all anti-Catholic, but rather anti-child abuse. Courts reached this obvious conclusion repeatedly, with Melanie H v. Sisters of the Precious Blood being the leading decision.
In California, over 1,000 survivors came forward (about 850 from the Catholic Church). No one knew, though, what the benefits or costs of the window would be. It was a large experiment. Now that the claims have been litigated or settled, however, there are important facts that we have learned for the first time, or that reinforced facts unearthed by previous studies:
First, window legislation is not just good for victims. It is good for everyone. Windows divulge the perpetrators’ and their enabling institutions’ ugly secrets. In California, the names of over 300 perpetrators who had never before been named publicly were released. And the bishops’ role in placing children’s needs below public appearances was also elaborated. Making that information public is a benefit to every parent and child.
Second, many survivors need decades to come forward. The fact that over 1,000 survivors (from a variety of groups) took advantage of the window confirms what social science studies have shown repeatedly: It is a psychological fact that child sex abuse victims are disabled from revealing the abuse at the time they suffer it and for many years thereafter. However, if given an opportunity to come forward years later, they do want to – and are finally able to – do so.
Third, until the window was in place, society had been making public policy based on too little information. The window revealed that the laws we have focused upon, like sex offender registries and pedophile-free zones, have assumed we know who the predators are. One of the greatest shocks in the last ten years is to learn that we only know about 10% of the perpetrators because of a broken legal system that shuts victims out of court before they get there. (Victims usually cannot name their perpetrators without the legal system, because perpetrators can and will sue the victim for defamation. If nothing else, child predators are adept at lying and dissembling.)
Joan, please don’t be so modest. You may not have a law degree, but you are in operation a better lawyer than many actual lawyers I have encountered. You care, have a laser focus and cut through the baloney very quickly, Please keep it up!
Thanks Jerry, what did I miss, in Marisco’s verbiage?
I went back and looked at the full Marisco response where he cites his abuse accomplishments, which include stronger laws for rapists, mandatory registration of convicted sex abusers, and several more that relate to known offenders. These laws all relate to KNOWN abusers.
But Marci’s third point in the 2011 FindLaw piece cited above, is very relevant.
It was NOT until CA opened up the SOL window, that UNKNOWN abusers were identified, over 300 of them!
Marci says “…until the window was in place, society had been making public policy based on too little information. The window revealed that the laws we have focussed upon, like sex offender registries and pedophile free zones, have assumed we know who the predators are. One of the greatest shocks in the last is to learn that we only know about 10% of the perpetrators…”
I would argue that Rep Marisco has concentrated on those laws that Marci herself mentions as laws that represent …”public policy based on too little information.”
HB 878 and HB 832 would open a window in PA and might well provide the identity of that OTHER 90% of predators! An excellent argument for moving those bills through the legislative process!
Typo…quoting Marci… ‘One of the greatest shocks in the last TEN years is to learn that we only know about 10% of the perpetrators…”
Joan, you don’t need my help with Marisco. You, Kathy, Susan, Michael, Kay, SRW, SW, Beth, Hadit, Patrick, Victims4Justice, friscoeddie, Joyce, Jackie, unabletotrust, Theresa. Laura, Jim, Janice, Elizabeth, and the rest of the C4C team are way ahead of me.
Poor Marisco and his counsel. They thought they could get away with pious platitudes and irrelevant replies. Hasn’t he ever felt the “wrath of a woman scorned” before. He is surely must be feeling it now.
I am focusing on NY’s Dolan and the US bishops’ meeting this week in Baltimore. I am very comforted and inspired by the great work of the C4C team.
I too received this same reply. I tried to copy and paste it in its entirety but it would not copy for some reason. Anyway, what I got out of it is that he does not like the two existing proposals and is doing one of is own. I live in Kansas, but at least he did respond. I am a survivor and will admit that what he wrot sounded like pure bull-shittery to me…grin! Can’t trust anybody these days.
We all received the same email response. We are forging ahead. We will have these Bills moved out of committee for hearings. There is alot going on – legislators joining in support of the Bills,national media attention etc…I think this email response was very premature of Rep Marsico. I think he underestimated the support these bills have generated on both a state and national level in the past few days.
Now we all know that Rep. Marsico did not write his response letter, that is obvious. I wonder whether the Counsel to the Judiciary Committee, Ryan Boop wrote the letter. As a former assistant District Attorney in Lancaster County, Mr. Boop must be intimately aware of the devastation and horror visited on victims and their families by sexual abuse and predation.
If, in fact, Ryan Boop, Esquire did author Marsico’s response in OPPOSITION to HB 832 and 878, the document is replete with references to lofty historical constitutional principles and safeguards but totally lacking in any specific reference to individual case law that is indeed very relevant to the issues and concerns contained in HB 832 and 878.
If there were relevant case law to support Mr. Marsico’s OPPOSITION to these proposals, how come they were not included in his letter?
Marsico may not want to bring these bills out of committed because a former priest names “Guy Marsico” is an accused pedophile priest. He’s probably related and this explains his resistance http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/04/waiting_to_be_counted_one_mans.html
It says in the article they are not related. I also came across a state rep. with the name Murtha and I was wondering if he was related to the priest Murtha that a few people on this site were talking about. You never know.
All, for the first time in many years, Representative Ron Marsico has an opponent in the general election. It is difficult to run against such money and power. If any of you as individuals are willing to help with feet on the ground or financially, it would be very much appreciated. We can prevent this happening again by defeating him in November. I work as an engineer but have for several years been a volunteer advocate for suicide prevention legislation in both federal and state legislatures. I understand completely what it means to be dedicated to protecting our kids and want monied interests removed from our government. I will be a voice for the people, not the Church and not large public organization such as Penn State. You can learn more about me from my website, http://www.voteMcEntee.com and please do not hesitate to reach out to start a conversation.