In Harrisburg, What is Going to Take?

What is it going to take?   Exactly what needs to happen before the people’s representatives in Harrisburg allow a vote on a bill to protect children and vulnerable adults?  The judicial committee sits on its collective hands because of lobbyists for the insurance industry and institutions with a history of protecting sexual predators spend millions to prevent Pennsylvania House Bills 832 and 878 from coming to the floor of the State Assembly for a fair vote.

The latest sexual abuse crisis involving a sexual predator and the powerful organization that sought to coverup his crimes involves the venerated football program at the Pennsylvania State University.  USA Today reported on the former Penn State Defensive Coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, 67, of State College was arrested this past Saturday.  It is alleged that senior officials at Penn State knew of these allegations and failed to report them.  Athletic Director  Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz have stepped down in the wake of charges being filed against them.

Mr. Sandusky went on to establish a non-profit organization,  The Second Mile, a charity to help troubled youth, in 1997 and it provided him with “access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations,” the grand jury said.

Penn State is going to put its reputation on the line for a bottom feeder like this?  Oh, by the way, legal support will come from the University for Curley and Schultz because the alleged misconduct happened while those two pillars of ethical behavior were performing their official duties as Penn State employees.  The taxpayers and tuition check writers of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania  will be bankrolling the legal teams trying to justify their actions.

Taking a page from the Catholic Church’s Playbook, Penn State’s President, Graham Spanier said that Curley and Schultz have his “unconditional support.”

“I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former university employee,” he said, adding that the charges are “groundless.” An amazing statement given that the investigation is still developing.  By giving his unconditional support, President Spanier is diminishing the victims in this case by making such grand pronunciations.  Maybe the shout at the next football game should be “We Are Penn State… And We Are Ashamed!”

President Spanier, I hope that part of the fall out from this case of sexual predation on the campus and the covering up of those crimes by high-ranking university officials will be either your resignation or dismissal from your current position.

My question is, given yet another large and powerful institution and its senior leadership providing cover for a sexual predator in the Commonwealth, why is the legislature continuing to give tacit support to organizations that are putting children and vulnerable adults at risk by not allowing legislation to get to the floor that could help victims and hold predators and their protectors accountable?

How long will the citizens of Pennsylvania allow their lawmakers to be the patsies of the Insurance lobby and the institutions that have supported the predators in their organization as part of their risk management programs?  How long will they allow the chair of the Judicial committee, Representative Ron Marsico to keep legislation from getting a vote? Contact him and  ask him! His email address is  rmarsico@pahousegop.com .  He can also be reached at:

Hon. Ron Marsico
4401 Linglestown Road, Suite B
Harrisburg, PA 17112
(717) 652-3721
Fax: (717) 652-6276

Hon. Ron Marsico
218 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202105
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2105
(717) 783-2014
Fax: (717) 705-2010

Justice4PAkids Letter Campaign Pleas with State Law Makers to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse

While I do not often post press releases, this one from a group trying to get a letter writing campaign going in support of legislation to protect children and vulnerable adults from sexual predators was a good fit with the positions I have taken in previous posts.

HARRISBURG, PA – Justice4Pakids will launch a child sexual abuse advocacy letter campaign to each state legislator beginning on September 26 with subsequent mailings for each week of the term.

Each hand-delivered letter will share the tragic details of one survivor’s experience as well as a plea for the removal the state’s civil and criminal statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.

Justice4PAKids is a newly formed coalition of child & victim advocates, lawyers, mental health professionals and concerned citizens dedicated to eliminating the Pennsylvania statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. This would expose perpetrators and those who harbor them; protect children; give victims an opportunity for justice; save taxpayers money.

“There is no statute of limitations on murder,” says former Philadelphia D.A. Charles Gallagher and group member. “Why should childhood sexual abuse be treated differently? The arguments against it are the same that could be used against murder statutes. They simply don’t hold up.”

House Bills 832 and 878, which were introduced on March 9, 2011 by Louise Bishop and Mike McGeehan respectively (both D-Phila), have been stalled in the Judiciary committee without a hearing. Committee chair, Ronald Marisco (R- Dauphin County) has not presented the bills for a move to the House floor.

For more information, please visit www.Justice4PAkids.com or email info@Justice4PAkids.com.