Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Identity & Community
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

Fight Over Sexual Abuse Victims’ Lawsuits Returns To Senate

clergy_abuse_victims_compensation_legislation.jpg
Matt Rourke
/
AP
State Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery, center left, embraces Carolyn Fortney, who was sexually abused as a child by a Roman Catholic Priest, during a news conference at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Democratic lawmakers are attempting anew to give now-adult victims of child sexual abuse a reprieve from time limits in Pennsylvania law that prohibit them from suing perpetrators and institutions that may have covered it up.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday they're introducing legislation that's been propelled by child sexual abuse scandals, including in Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses. The state House was scheduled later Wednesday to vote on similar legislation.

Last October, Senate Republicans blocked a House bill that sought to provide the victims a two-year window to sue. It's still not clear whether the legislation can pass the Senate, and it's opposed by Catholic bishops.

A years-long fight over the two-year window, however, has held up passage of legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes.