Child rapists deserve no safe harbor
By Nick Miccarelli, Times Guest Columnist, 06/09/16, The Times Herald
I was nothing short of shocked when a dear friend of mine sent me a picture of the St. Rose of Lima Church bulletin on Saturday. It read, “State Representative Nick Miccarelli voted in favor of House Bill 1947 which states that private institutions can be sued as far as 40 years ago for millions of dollars, while public institutions may not be sued for any crimes committed in the past.”
This statement, printed in the church bulletin, is patently untrue. The simplicity of this statement leaves out much, but most glaringly it leaves out the true goal of the bill. I did vote in favor of HB1947 because as I reviewed the legislation, forefront in my mind was justice for the victims, not sympathy for the predators that committed heinous crimes against children or any public or private institution that allowed sexual abuse to continue unaddressed. HB1947 will allow those who have been molested as children to have their day in court.
There is no one, and I mean no one, with any understanding of the law who would claim “public institutions may not be sued for any crimes committed in the past.” Google “Jerry Sandusky Penn State Lawsuit” if you need to see evidence that public institutions can be sued. What this bill did was to . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.