Marsico Passes Child Protection Legislation through House Judiciary Committee
HARRISBURG –Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) issued the following statement in regard to the passage of legislation dealing with Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations through the House Judiciary Committee today:
“Representative Bishop, Representative McGeehan and I have been discussing House Bills 878 and 832 for months. Together we met with several district attorneys and representatives of the state district attorneys association and discussed criminal investigations and prosecution of child sexual abuse, as well as victims’ civil remedies and the impact their bills might have on preventing abuse and bringing offenders to justice. I believe the meeting gave everyone an opportunity to better understand the issues. Any differences are surmountable because all of us are committed to protecting children from abuse.
“Last December, following the horrific allegations made public in connection with the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky, I initiated legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and worked closely with the Senate and the governor to create a Task Force on Child Protection. The point of the task force was to avoid tackling the many issues related to child sex abuse in piecemeal fashion, and instead, to look in-depth, across the whole scope of the issues to reach a complete package of concrete suggestions for improvement. Since December, 10 members have been appointed and the governor has named Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler to serve as its chair. Each of the members of the task force is an expert in his or her particular field, and the group represents a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in child abuse issues. Each will contribute to the effort and provide insight to meet the task force’s mission to identify gaps and recommend specific statutory and administrative changes. The task force has been diligently working on its mission.
“I would have preferred to let the task force do its job, by awaiting their full report in order to comprehensively address all of the many issues confronting those who are victims of childhood sexual abuse. However, a number of legislators have been insisting on our committee to act now – before the task force has completed its job. I was willing to accommodate that request, but insisted that we only move forward with a few discrete reasonable points, and await the task force’s upcoming expert suggestions on any other legislative action to take.
“No single piece of legislation will solve the problem of child sexual abuse. The events in State College are not unique, but demonstrate there is a need for a comprehensive study of our laws, policies and practices to determine what is lacking and what steps can be taken to better address these terrible crimes. With that said, this is an issue that I do not take lightly and feel as though, through my House Bill 2488, as well as the amended House Bills 878 and 832, we came up with a constitutional solution that will put the monsters that prey on our children behind bars. All of us are in agreement that our objective is to do whatever we can to protect children from child sex abuse and to prevent that harm from being visited on any more children.”
State Representative Ron Marsico
105th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Autumn Southard