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Gov. Wolf Signs Three Bills to Protect Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

State prosecutors investigating allegations of sex abuse in Allentown, Harrisburg Catholic dioceses, Rozzi says

(Sep 16, 2016)

Prosecutors from the state attorney general's office have been conducting grand jury interviews with alleged sexual assault victims in the Allentown and Harrisburg Catholic dioceses, a Berks County lawmaker said. State Rep. Mark Rozzi said Thursday that he was subpoenaed by the grand jury three months ago to come and testify about his rape at the hands of an Allentown Diocese priest while he was a middle school student in 1984. He said he testified before the grand jury in Pittsburgh in the middle of August. Read more

 

Grand jury investigating sex abuse in Allentown, Harrisburg dioceses, lawmaker says

(Sep 16, 2016)

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office is looking into allegations of abuse by priests in the Allentown Diocese as part of a bigger statewide investigation, a lawmaker who was called to testify told The Morning Call on Thursday. Read more

 

Summer 2016 Rozzi Report

(Aug 30, 2016)

Dear Friends, Over the summer, I supported the passage of a state budget that funds education at record levels, without a broad-based tax increase. I will be the first to admit that this budget is far from perfect, but it is a solid step in the right direction, especially for our students and homeowners. After the protracted impasse of last year, it is refreshing to see this compromise, especially as it contains historic education funding that should help slow the increase of property taxes as we fight for a more comprehensive solution for homeowners. Read more

 

State rep calls Castor ‘wholly unsuitable’ for AG role

(Aug 18, 2016)

One state politician is glad Bruce Castor will not be acting as Pennsylvania’s attorney general for long. State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, sent out a press release Thursday applauding Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to quickly appoint a replacement for resigned AG Kathleen Kane. Wolf named Bruce Beemer, Kane’s former first deputy, who left in July to become Wolf’s inspector general. He testified in Kane’s perjury and abuse of power trial. Read more

 

The Rozzi Report: Statute of Limitations Reform Special Edition

(Aug 15, 2016)

When the movie “Spotlight” won the Academy Award for Best Picture in February, no one could imagine what that foretold for our legislative efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s archaic and arbitrary statute of limitations laws for survivors of child sexual abuse. Read more

 

EDITORIAL: Speaking out for victims of clergy abuse

(Aug 01, 2016)

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is learning that while a key aspect of House Bill 1947 might be going away, its biggest booster is not. State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-126th Dist., of Berks County, the man who authored the controversial language in the bill that would have retroactively extended the window for victims of child sexual abuse that occurred decades ago to sue the molesters and those that employed them, took his case to the church this week. Read more

 

Lawmaker, a clergy abuse victim, protests legislative inaction from cathedral steps

(Jul 19, 2016)

Standing with others who had been abused by Catholic clergy, State Rep. Mark Rozzi hurled stacks of grand jury reports onto the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Monday, and loudly vowed to continue trying to change Pennsylvania law so victims like himself can file suit in decades-old cases. Read more

 

Berks County Environmental Groups Approved for $470k State Investment, Sen. Schwank, Reps. Caltagirone, Rozzi Announce

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Three regional conservation, watershed protection and civic improvement groups will receive $470,000 in state investments for their ongoing efforts to protect and enhance the outdoor experience for Berks County residents. Sen. Judy Schwank and Reps. Thomas Caltagirone and Mark Rozzi said the Commonwealth Financing Authority today approved grants for: Implementation of the Berks County Conservancy’s Angelica Park master plan, $200,000; Recreation Commission of the Antietam Valley, Carsonia Park Improvement Project and Watershed Restoration Project, $215,000; Berks County Community Foundation, 18 th W.O.N.D.E.R. Neighborhood Improvement Project, $55,000. "All three of these projects are especially significant because they not only will vastly improve regional recreational resources and preserve the local environment, but also because they are the result of remarkable cooperation among a diverse array of elected and appointed officials and community-based organizations and agencies," Schwank said following CFA’s approval of the new investments. "I am just as grateful for the dedication, passion and vision of the many people who work for these groups and strive to improve the quality of life for all Berks Countians." "These grant awards are great news for the city of Reading and surrounding communities," Caltagirone said. "Everyone who worked so hard to put together such high-quality Read more

 

Sen. Schwank, Reps. Caltagirone, Rozzi Announce Nearly $1 Million State Investment to Improve Skyline Drive

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Historic Skyline Drive soon will be receiving needed upgrades thanks to a $969,298 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority to reconstruct a 2.4-mile stretch of Skyline Drive in Alsace and Lower Alsace Townships and the city of Reading, according to Sen. Judy Schwank and Reps. Thomas Caltagirone and Mark Rozzi. All three state legislators worked together to strongly advocate for the grant's approval. According to the state legislators, Lower Alsace Township will receive the grant and will work with Alsace Township and the city to complete the project. As part of the reconstruction of Skyline Drive, road markings will be added to create shared pedestrian/bicyclist lanes and crosswalks added at key locations to improve safety. Stormwater facility upgrades will be installed to improve water runoff and limit potential water damage to the roadway in the future. "This project represents an important investment in improving one of Berks County’s most iconic roadways," Schwank said. "This effort is especially significant because it involves cooperation among three municipalities, incorporates multiple modes of transportation, and improves safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike." "Skyline Drive provides access to some of the most beautiful vistas in all of Pennsylvania, as well to our city’s most recognizable and historic landmark, the Read more

 

Rozzi Stands Up for Victims

(Jun 28, 2016)

In an interview with Pennsylvania Legislative Services Rep. Mark Rozzi talks about the vital importance of legislation to give victims of sexual abuse the power to decide to file charges against their alleged attackers when the victim is ready, not when the state decides it must be done. Rozzi is urging the Senate to act in favor of victim rights. Read more

 

Rozzi rallies for victims after Senate Judiciary Committee hearing

(Jun 14, 2016)

Still, advocates left the proceeding unhappy, complaining that the witness list was stacked with opponents of the bill. After the hearing ended, Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks), one of the most ardent backers of the House bill, approached Greenleaf during what appeared to be a testy exchange. 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

 

Lawmakers consider raising age limits in child sex abuse lawsuits

(Jun 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Is retroactivity for civil lawsuits constitutional? It's a question state senators answered over the battle of the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. The house previously passed a bill in April making civil suits retroactive. The bill came out after the grand jury investigation for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The hearing lasted three hours Monday morning inside a packed Senate committee room. And the entire hearing was trying to answer one question: will passing a bill that allows civil lawsuits to be retroactive hold up legally? Read more

 

Statute of limitations on child sex abuse argued in Pa. Senate hearing

(Jun 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Attorney General Kathleen Kane was the first to testify at a Senate hearing on House Bill 1947, which extends the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse. “I am here to speak on behalf of all of the children and all of the survivors of Pennsylvania,” Kane said and urged senators to vote for HB 1947. But in a strange moment, Kane’s hand-picked Solicitor General Bruce Castor was next to testify and said that 1947 is, in part, unconstitutional. There is a provision that would let victims sue abusers and institutions even though their statute of limitations has expired. He said lawmakers do not have the power to grant such retroactivity. 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

 

State prosecutors investigating allegations of sex abuse in Allentown, Harrisburg Catholic dioceses, Rozzi says
Sep 16, 2016

Grand jury investigating sex abuse in Allentown, Harrisburg dioceses, lawmaker says
Sep 16, 2016

Summer 2016 Rozzi Report
Aug 30, 2016

State rep calls Castor ‘wholly unsuitable’ for AG role
Aug 18, 2016

The Rozzi Report: Statute of Limitations Reform Special Edition
Aug 15, 2016

EDITORIAL: Speaking out for victims of clergy abuse
Aug 01, 2016

Lawmaker, a clergy abuse victim, protests legislative inaction from cathedral steps
Jul 19, 2016

Berks County Environmental Groups Approved for $470k State Investment, Sen. Schwank, Reps. Caltagirone, Rozzi Announce
Jul 01, 2016

Sen. Schwank, Reps. Caltagirone, Rozzi Announce Nearly $1 Million State Investment to Improve Skyline Drive
Jul 01, 2016

Rozzi Stands Up for Victims
Jun 28, 2016

Rozzi rallies for victims after Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
Jun 14, 2016

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

Lawmakers consider raising age limits in child sex abuse lawsuits
Jun 13, 2016

Statute of limitations on child sex abuse argued in Pa. Senate 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