Rozzi urges Kane to take up new Sandusky case

TEMPLE, June 5 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, today said Attorney General Kathleen Kane should reconsider her decision to not take up the criminal complaint Anthony Spinelli Jr. filed against Jerry Sandusky – and is urging his General Assembly colleagues to support his legislation that would extend the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases.  

Rozzi said he believes Spinelli, who was reportedly assaulted by Sandusky in 1988 at a recruitment camp at Penn State, deserves his day in court. Spinelli filed a criminal complaint last year but no action has been taken by the Office of the Attorney General because Kane claims the statute of limitations has elapsed.

"For victims of child sexual abuse, the pain and suffering never goes away. The perpetrators often suffer no consequences because of arbitrary time limits imposed on victims. But this case is different, Mr. Spinelli should be well within his rights to file a criminal complaint and Attorney General Kane should do everything within her power to pursue the case," Rozzi said. "This situation highlights the absurdity of statute of limitations laws for child sexual abuse cases. The legal system should be supportive of victims and not allow abusers to hide behind a technicality." 

Rozzi's legislation, H.B. 661, would raise the age at which an adult victim of child sex abuse could file a civil claim from 30 to 50 and allow previously time-barred victims to bring a suit to court. Rozzi is also supporting a package of bills including H.B. 655, which would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases of child sex abuse, and H.B. 951, which would create a two-year window for past victims to have the opportunity to file civil suits.

"I hope my colleagues in the General Assembly take note of this case, as it highlights the need for serious reform. We can and should be doing more to help those like Mr. Spinelli," said Rozzi.