Midstate family victimized by clergy abuse hits the road to send senators a message


Several members of the Fortney family went on a 600 mile road trip on Saturday morning.  

Lara Fortney-McKeever says that an emotional week sparked their travel plans.  

“We met with senators face to face, and some said they would support Senate Bill 261 that would allow victims of sexual abuse to take their abusers to court, while others expressed concerns about the constitution,” said Fortney-McKeever. “So we decided that we had to do more.”

The State Senate didn’t bring SB 261 to a vote, so the Fortney sisters took the issue to several district offices of key senators outside of Pittsburg and State College.  

Saundra Fortney-Colello says that most of the five offices that they visited were closed, so they did what they could to get their message across.

“We put five things on their doors, said Fortney-Colello, “We sent a message to them on Facebook, and talked to them directly.”

The Fortney sisters also stopped by Senate President Pro-Tempore district office but he was not in.

Patty Fortney-Julius says they will continue to push until there is a vote.  

“This whole experience has created a lot of healing in our family and brought us together,’ said Fortney-Julius. “We got really close and that is the best part of this whole thing.”

Saturday’s road trip including stopping by five senate district offices and they plan on visiting five more on Sunday.

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