Pa. House votes to extend window for childhood sex-abuse victims to submit claims in civil court

This Week in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair) to extend the timeframe in which childhood sexual abuse victims can submit a claim in civil court.

By extending the Statute of Limitations, Gregory’s bill provides a two-year window for victims to file a claim, “if the statute of limitations has already expired for that victim.”

Specifically, Gregory’s bill amends what is known as the Remedies Clause, or Section 11 of Article 1 in the state Constitution.

According to Rep. Gregory, “a recent call from a man named Mike reiterated the importance of giving victims a voice in court because people like Mike are dealing with the effects of abuse decades later.”

“This bill is for all the men and women in Pennsylvania who came through to the other side of a very dark experience. We need access to the courts to find closure,” Gregory said. The Republican lawmaker also said passing this legislation was a top priority for him when elected in 2018.

In 2020, Gregory partnered with Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) to create legislation that would raise the age in which childhood sexual abuse victims could file a suit, extending the age limit from 30 to 55 years old.

According to the Pa. House, if Gregory’s bill is passed by the state Senate, a referendum question on the matter will be included in the primary election on May 18, 2021.

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