Click here to read: “Pa. statute of limitations for abuse victims should be altered,” by Patriot-News Editorial Board, May 20, 2012, Pennlive.com
Excerpt: “In the case of the allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, attorneys have heard from one man who can’t press charges against Sandusky because he missed the statute of limitations cutoff by a mere nine months.
Elected officials have highlighted the need to protect victims of abuse in the aftermath of the Sandusky allegations. Gov. Tom Corbett even created the Task Force on Child Protection to look at Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws and propose potential changes. It is expected to give its recommendations to the governor in November.
But one important way to protect victims doesn’t need to wait for the task force. We can be sure we give them the ability to have their day in court — even if it is years after the abuse ended — by changing the current statute of limitations.
Pennsylvania should create a “window” or period of time when victims who are beyond the statute of limitations can come forward and file a suit against an abuser. Other states, such as California, Delaware and most recently, Hawaii, have enacted such laws. When California opened a one-year window, 300 cases were opened.
In the commonwealth, advocates are looking for a one-time, two-year window.
Along with that, these advocates also want to move the age limit for filing civil cases from age 30, where it currently stands, to age 50, so that it matches the age limit in criminal cases.
So far, there has been great opposition to making the changes. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference opposes the move as does the insurance industry.”