Victim advocate hopes for statue of limitations reform in '17

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 21, 2016 3:27 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Statute of limitations reform for victims of child sexual abuse nearly made it over the finish line in the state legislature in 2016.

But, it was hampered by complaints that a certain provision went against the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Now, the state's Victim Advocate says she will be among those pushing for the measure to become law in the new year.

The bill would have abolished the statute of limitations on future criminal cases of child sex abuse and given past victims of abuse more time to file a civil suit.

Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm says the testimony of then-Solicitor General Bruce Castor that the retroactive measure of the bill was unconstitutional cut the measure off at the knees.

"We have had since then multiple constitutional lawyers step forward and submit opinions to the Senate to say this is absolutely constitutional. We have our existing (state) Attorney General Bruce Beemer who's come out and said this is constitutional," she says. "Our Attorney General-elect Josh Shapiro...this is an issue that's very near and dear to him...he believes it's constitutional."

Storm says legislators don't wear robes for a reason and so any question of constitutionality should go to the courts.

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