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Rozzi: Senate must return to deliver justice to abuse survivors

Rozzi and Murt team up with PCAR and Turning Point for private screening of 'Spotlight'

(Nov 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., announced today that they will host a private advance screening of the film “Spotlight” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Midtown Cinema, 250 Reilly St. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Turning Point are the event sponsors. A complimentary reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the movie. Remarks will be offered by the sponsors and hosts in support of legislation that would modify the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against abusers and the institutions that shield them. “Spotlight” is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child sexual abuse and cover-up within the local Boston Archdiocese. More information about the event is available by contacting Rozzi’s Harrisburg office at (717) 783-3290. To reserve tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-advance-screening-of-spotlight-tickets-19499631924. Seating is limited. Read more

 

“What was that!” exclaims state Rep. Rozzi after Senate Judiciary hearing

(Jun 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – After a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutionality of the retroactive component of House Bill 1947, Rep. Mark Rozzi rejoined a large group of abuse survivors and advocates who had demonstrated on the Capitol steps earlier. Rozzi called for immediate action on House Bill 1947, the statutes of limitation reform bill that overwhelming passed the House in April. “These perpetrators, and these institutions that have protected these pedophiles, have always gotten a free pass,” Rozzi said. According to Rozzi, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, allowed Attorney General Kathleen Kane to address the committee, after making his opening remarks noting that committee members were “acutely aware of the facts of the child abuse that had occurred.” Rozzi said four of the five witnesses were invited to testify against the constitutionality of H.B. 1947, along with the opinions submitted by six other sources. In contrast, he said Greenleaf allowed only one witness, Professor Marci Hamilton, in support of the bill, and one written submission by Professor Kermit Roosevelt. Both are affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. “I’ve done this for almost three decades and I can tell you, I have never been asked to testify on constitutionality when it didn’t serve political ends,” Hamilton said. “I learned long ago to ask the question, ‘Is this hearing about saving the bill or killing the bill?’ The hearing Read more

 

Radio Times: Push to loosen the statute of limitations on Pa. child sex abuse cases

(Jun 03, 2016)

Recent clergy abuse scandals, along with high profile sexual abuse cases, including allegations against Bill Cosby, have drawn attention to the time restrictions the law places on those who want to bring charges against their alleged abusers. To help survivors, some lawmakers in Harrisburg are pushing to loosen the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. We’ll be joined by one of them, Representative MARK ROZZI, a Democrat from Berks County, who says as a boy he was sexually abused by a priest, and we’ll talk with GEORGE FOSTER, a businessman who’s credited with helping to expose abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Read more

 

Rozzi shines a Spotlight on statutes of limitation reform panel

(May 20, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 20 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi hosted a roundtable discussion this week with Phil Saviano, the real-life “Spotlight” whistleblower, to highlight the need for statutes of limitation reform efforts in Pennsylvania. “Speaking as a victim, Phil Saviano deserves credit for the countless hours of hard work and dedication to uncovering the sexual abuse occurring in Boston,” Rozzi said. “Spotlight didn’t make this event possible, Phil Saviano did. I don’t know if we would be here today without his hard work because what happened in Boston happened everywhere across the country. It is a proud day for us, because for so long we have been shut out and silenced, but when someone breaks through that barrier it creates hope for all of us.” At the roundtable, Saviano, whose story was recently featured in the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight”, spoke about how it took considerable time and effort to expose the systematic abuse and cover-ups that were occurring in the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond. “At some point I realized the man that assaulted me as a kid had a very long career of molesting children in several parts of the country. I had a hard time grappling with that because I had just assumed he would be caught and thrown out of the priesthood and yet the exact opposite happened,” Saviano said. “Over the next couple of years, I learned there were at least seven bishops in four states that knew this priest was a child molester. Not only had he been caught over and Read more

 

Never-ending Penn State cover-up

(May 09, 2016)

Did Joe know? News accounts indicate that a Penn State insurer claimed “in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU’s Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky.” Apparently the victim depositions are under seal. What else is new? The biggest thing that jumps out to me is this allegation was in 1976. The Second Mile was founded in 1977. If true, Paterno knew an abuser was founding a charity for kids and it would be on the campus and facilities of Penn State University. The family’s response is predictable. “An allegation now about an alleged event 40 years ago, as represented by a single line in a court document regarding an insurance claim, with no corroborating evidence, does not change the facts. Joe Paterno did not, at any time, cover up conduct by Jerry Sandusky.” Did Joe know? Who knows? But the pattern and practices of institutional-based abuse and cover-up is never-ending, with the way our statute of limitation laws protect pedophiles and the organizations that shield them. Read more

 

Altoona-Johnstown abuse changed minds

(May 09, 2016)

"They have a decision to make," said Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks), an abuse victim himself and the bill's fiercest advocate: Support the bill as it stands or, he warned, or "be seen as protecting pedophiles and the institutions that protect them." None of the senators - Republicans Stewart Greenleaf and John Rafferty, and Democrat Daylin Leach - would commit himself last week to supporting or opposing the bill. Greenleaf, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that he would consider holding a hearing or drafting amendments within two weeks and that the measure could come before the full Senate next month. Read more

 

Rozzi announces $120,000 in fire department, EMS grants in 126th District

(Apr 20, 2016)

TEMPLE, April 20 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, announced today that eight fire and ambulance companies in his legislative district will receive more than $120,000 in state grants. The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program and were awarded in February. In all, 2,538 grants were awarded statewide. The grants are funded partly by gaming revenue. “As a legislator, I understand the financial hardships some companies are facing,” Rozzi said. “It’s only right that we do what we can to give them the financial support they need to continue keeping our neighborhoods safe.” 126th Legislative District grant recipients include: • Lower Alsace Ambulance, $7,201; • Muhlenberg Area Ambulance, $7,201; • Community Volunteer Fire Company of Lower Alsace Township, $11,967; • Central Fire Co. #1 of Laureldale, $12,422; • Temple Fire Co. #1, $13,561; • City of Reading Pennsylvania Department of Fire and Rescue Services, $13,789; • Mount Penn Fire Company, $13,789; • Goodwill Fire Co. of Hyde Park, $13,789; • Exeter Township Volunteer Firefighters Association, 13,789; and • West Reading Fire Company #1, $13,789. Grants can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. Grant money also can be applied toward the purchase of new equipment, training and certification of staff, or it may go to repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. The grant program is due to expire June 30, unless reaut Read more

 

Rozzi: A Chance for Justice

(Apr 14, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi speaks on the house floor regarding legislation that would dramatically alter Pennsylvania's outdated statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse. (FULL SPEECH) Read more

 

Mark Rozzi on a personal journey: Abuse victim determined to change laws

(Apr 13, 2016)

His voice, though quivering, filled the cavernous chamber. Rep. Mark Rozzi didn't have to dig too deeply. The emotion had been welling in him - not for weeks - but years. Rozzi, who was abused by a priest at the age of 13, was determined not to fail. The legislation that could hold out some justice and recompense for hundreds if not thousands of victims like him was on the line. Read more

 

Pa. House votes to extend window for child sex-abuse claims

(Apr 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG - In a stunning shift, the House voted Tuesday to abolish the statute of limitations for child-sex-abuse crimes and expand the legal window for victims to file lawsuits against their abusers. The 180-15 vote marked a swift and groundbreaking development on an issue that advocates, particularly clergy sex-abuse victims, had sought for years. The bill now heads to the Senate, where its fate is unclear. If approved there, it could open the door for hundreds of victims who say the statute of limitations has prevented them from seeking justice. "You have given the children of this commonwealth hope," said Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks), an abuse victim, who sponsored the bill. Read more

 

Rozzi: We Want Justice

(Apr 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi speaks on the House floor about legislation that would dramatically alter Pennsylvania's outdated statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse. Rozzi, a victim himself, called on his colleagues to give victims the chance at justice and to hold individuals and institutions accountable for these terrible crimes and cover-ups. The bill passed overwhelmingly shortly thereafter. Read more

 

Rozzi: Change Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse

(Apr 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi continues the fight for victims of child sex abuse. Rozzi introduced an amendment that would allow past victims of child sex abuse to bring civil lawsuits until the age of 50, something that is currently prohibited by current law. Read more

 

House passes statute of limitations overhaul

(Apr 12, 2016)

A major change to the state's statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases is headed to the state Senate, after receiving final approval from House lawmakers. By a vote of 180-15, the House passed a plan to erase the time limit on criminal child sex abuse cases going forward and let victims bring civil suits until their 50th birthday, an extension of 20 years. The measure would also allow victims to sue institutions that harbored their abusers. At one point during debate, members suggested delaying their vote to review constitutional concerns. The motion was vehemently rejected by the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), who has made his own story of being sexually abused by a childhood priest central to his support of statute of limitations changes. "These victims have been through enough. They have been abused, they have been lied to, their stories have been covered up!" said Rozzi, shouting into the microphone on the House floor. "And there has been institution and public corruption that has denied them justice!" The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Insurance Federation have opposed the plan. Supporters received a jolt of urgency last month, with the release of a statewide grand jury report detailing a cover-up of child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy at the Altoona-Johnstown diocese. Read more

 

PA House votes to extend statute of limitations in criminal and civil cases of child sex abuse

(Apr 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG — Last-minute attempts to postpone and stop a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for child sex-abuse cases failed Tuesday in the House. And they failed by wide margins as a majority of Republican and Democratic lawmakers united behind a belief they had the power and duty to atone for the past and make a better future for victims of child sex abuse. The bill would eliminate a legal time limit on when child abusers can be prosecuted for future crimes, and would give victims of past abuse more time to file civil lawsuits against their abusers and any employers who might have enabled the abuse. Read more

 

House approves bill to reform child sex crimes laws; measure heads to Senate

(Apr 12, 2016)

Following a poignant debate on the House floor, Pennsylvania lawmakers by an overwhelming majority voted Tuesday to advance a measure that would allow a generation of victims of child sexual abuse to seek justice. After years of failed efforts by advocates to reform laws applying to child sex crimes, House lawmakers voted 180-15 to approve a bill that will — if approved by the Senate — eliminate criminal statute of limitations on future child sex abuse crimes and amend civil statutes. Under the bill, the criminal statutes applied child sex abuse crimes would fall under the same parameters applied to murder: The statutes would never expire. Read more

 

State bill advances to protect rights of child sexual-abuse victims

(Apr 06, 2016)

HARRISBURG — A House committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would eliminate the deadline for beginning criminal prosecutions in certain future cases of child sexual abuse and allow victims to bring civil lawsuits until they turn 50. Read more

 

Bill to expand rights of child sex abuse victims clears state House panel

(Apr 06, 2016)

The push to give victims of child sexual abuse more time to take legal action against their abusers and the organizations that shield them has cleared a major hurdle. With a 26-1 vote Tuesday, the state House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to overhaul the statutes of limitation for victims of child sex abuse. The bill had languished in the committee for years. The House is expected to consider the plan for final approval next week. Read more

 

Statute of limitations chat replay with Lancaster Online

(Apr 04, 2016)

View the replay of a chat with state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, who has been fighting to reform the Pennsylvania civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse. Read more

 

As Pennsylvania Confronts Clergy Sex Abuse, Victims and Lawmakers Act

(Apr 04, 2016)

LORETTO, Pa. — By the age of 12, Maureen Powers, the daughter of a professor at the local Roman Catholic university, played the organ in the magnificent hilltop Catholic basilica here and volunteered in the parish office. But, she said, she was hiding a secret: Her priest sexually abused her for two years, telling her it was for the purpose of “research.” By her high school years, she felt so tied up in knots of betrayal and shame that she confided in a succession of priests. She said the first tried to take advantage of her sexually, the second suggested she comfort herself with a daily candy bar and the third told her to see a counselor. None of them reported the abuse to the authorities or mentioned that she could take that step. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers: Victims of child sexual abuse deserve to have their day in court

(Apr 03, 2016)

If only “Spotlight” was a fictional creation of Hollywood, and not the all-too-real story of the Catholic Church’s systematic pattern of hiding priestly child sexual abuse. If only the story told by The Boston Globe pertained only to Boston, and not to Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, and Los Angeles, and Altoona-Johnstown, and dioceses across the globe. Unfortunately, wishing doesn’t make it so. “Spotlight” highlighted just how essential newspaper journalism can and should be. It showed how the unglamorous work of poring through documents, filing Right-to-Know requests and doggedly pursuing sources can yield a story that changes institutions and, more importantly, people’s lives. Read more

 

Rozzi and Murt team up with PCAR and Turning Point for private screening of 'Spotlight'
Nov 16, 2016

“What was that!” exclaims state Rep. Rozzi after Senate Judiciary hearing
Jun 13, 2016

Radio Times: Push to loosen the statute of limitations on Pa. child sex abuse cases
Jun 03, 2016

Rozzi shines a Spotlight on statutes of limitation reform panel
May 20, 2016

Never-ending Penn State cover-up
May 09, 2016

Altoona-Johnstown abuse changed minds
May 09, 2016

Rozzi announces $120,000 in fire department, EMS grants in 126th District
Apr 20, 2016

Rozzi: A Chance for Justice
Apr 14, 2016

Mark Rozzi on a personal journey: Abuse victim determined to change laws
Apr 13, 2016

Pa. House votes to extend window for child sex-abuse claims
Apr 13, 2016

Rozzi: We Want Justice
Apr 12, 2016

Rozzi: Change Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse
Apr 12, 2016

House passes statute of limitations overhaul
Apr 12, 2016

PA House votes to extend statute of limitations in criminal and civil cases of child sex abuse
Apr 12, 2016

House approves bill to reform child sex crimes laws; measure heads to Senate
Apr 12, 2016

State bill advances to protect rights of child sexual-abuse victims
Apr 06, 2016

Bill to expand rights of child sex abuse victims clears state House panel
Apr 06, 2016

Statute of limitations chat replay with Lancaster Online
Apr 04, 2016

As Pennsylvania Confronts Clergy Sex Abuse, Victims and Lawmakers Act
Apr 04, 2016

Pennsylvania lawmakers: Victims of child sexual abuse deserve to have their day in court
Apr 03, 2016