Marsico Continues to Work to Pass Constitutional Child Protection Legislation through the House
HARRISBURG –Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) issued the following statement in regard to a pending vote in the House on legislation dealing with the two-year window in Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations:
“The issue of the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases is not a new one in the legislature. I have been working with the members who authored this legislation for quite some time. Together we have 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.
“The bottom line is that the legislation calling for removal of the two-year window is unconstitutional. Like all legislators, I have taken a personal oath to support, obey and defend the constitutions of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I take that oath very seriously. Know that however difficult it is for me – as a father, grandfather and a husband, not only as an elected representative – to acknowledge this constitutional limit on the General Assembly’s power, it is also my sworn duty to do so.
“While it might feel satisfying to pass a bill that includes a window, any such provision would simply give false hopes to a victim whose civil claim has been barred by the existing statute-of-limitations because it would later be declared unconstitutional by the courts. Those victims deserve better than to be giving such false hope, only to see it snatched away.
“That is why I support changes that will protect children today, such as abolishing the criminal statute-of-limitation for future criminal prosecutions. That way, justice will always be served because no one who sexually abuses a child then will ever be free from criminal prosecution merely because of a lapsed statute-of-limitation. In fact, I intend to offer a bill to this effect immediately. I also support measures to educate children on ways to report abuse, to provide training for parents and teachers to recognize abuse, and to allocate resources designed to locate and prosecute sexual predators.”
Representative Ronald Marsico
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Autumn R. Southard, 717.652.3721