PA--Abuse bill moves in PA legislature; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, [email protected])

We’re glad Pennsylvania lawmakers are finally moving to reform the state’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations but disappointed that because there’s no civil window, hundreds who have committed or concealed child sex crimes will remain hidden and escape responsibility.

It’s safe and easy for lawmakers to ‘crack down’ on those who assault kids and hide crimes years down the road. But that alone is irresponsible. Steps must be taken now to expose those who have or are hurting kids and concealing crimes today. That’s tougher, because it takes real courage to take on purportedly powerful individuals like Catholic bishops and allegedly powerful lobbyists like insurance companies. But that’s what must happen if kids are to be protected right now in Pennsylvania.  

We hope other lawmakers will insist that a civil window be enacted now, so that coaches, teachers and ministers who are molesting or have molested kids, or have hidden or are hiding those crimes, will face consequences for their wrongdoing and be stopped from further wrongdoing.

But no matter what lawmakers in Harrisburg do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions in Pennsylvania to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected])


House panel approves bill to reform statute of limitations on sex crimes

By Ivey DeJesus | [email protected]  on April 05, 2016 at 11:14 AM

By an overwhelming margin, the Pennsylvania's House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning gave its support to a bill that would reform the state's sex crime law.

House Bill 1947, sponsored by Majority Chairman Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), would abolish the criminal statute of limitations for future criminal prosecutions.

Under the proposed legislation   . . . 

Read full article here

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