Key Provisions for Window Legislation in PA

In response to some pretty good feedback I would like to cover the kinds of things that have been in previous bills introduced in Harrisburg.  While I live in Virginia, the events of 1974 took place in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida.  I am concentrating on Pennsylvania at the moment, home of the Diocese that continues to support and sanction my pedophile priest.

Back in the last legislative session that ran from January 2007 through December 2008 there were 3 bills introduced that allowed for the changing of the statute of limitations on crimes that would include the crime of sexually molesting, sexual assault or raping of minors.  Additionally, legislation was offered that would allow for a window of opportunity for victims of sexual assault as minors to file a civil action for a period of time (one to two years after the passage of the law) and from then on, victims could bring actions up until they reach the age of 50.

You can review the legislation that was held up in committee and prevented from getting to the floor of the house of representatives due to some political stalling by the chair of the Judiciary Committee.  Since Chairman Thomas R. Caltagirone of House District 127 (part of Berks County) never returned my email inquiry as to why he was holding up the legistlation.  I can only speculate that he supports pedophiles or is on the payroll of the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania.  Maybe he just does not see the need to protect children.  But I digress.

Examples of legislation submitted in the last legislative sessions in Pennsylvania follow:

  • Senate Bill 326 sponsored by Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. of Senate District 44 (parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery Counties). That bill sought to allow anyone who was victim of a crime before they reached the age of 14 may commence a civil action at any time during their life.
  • Senate Bill 553, sponsored by Senator Lisa Boscola of Senate District 18 (Parts of Monroe, Lehigh and Northampton Counties), expanded criminal statutes of limitations on certain crimes. Of note is the provision for prosecution of “Any sexual offense committee against a minor less than 18 years of age any time up to the later of the period of limitation provided by law after the minor has reached 18 years of age or the date the minor 50 years of age.”
  • House Bill 1574 sponsored by Representative Douglas G. Reichley of House District 134 (parts of Berks and Lehigh Counties). This legislation can be called “Window” Legislation. Similar to laws passed in California and Delaware, this bill would have allowed a victim of childhood sexual abuse to commence a civil action, even if the statute of limitations had expired. This legislation allows a period of one year for those actions to be brought to a Pennsylvania Court from a date delineated in the legislation.

If you live in Pennsylvania and would like to see similiar legislation reintroduced, contact your representative or state senator.  If you don’t know who your senator or representative may be, you can find out by going to the website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

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