McGeehan, Rozzi to welcome legal scholar’s presence at Monday news conference
HARRISBURG, March 15 – A law school professor and respected author will add her expertise on the constitutionality of child sexual abuse window legislation to a 1 p.m. Monday news conference in the Capitol Media Center, where state Reps. Michael P. McGeehan, D-Phila., and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, will discuss their efforts in this critical area.
Marci A. Hamilton, who teaches at New York’s Yeshiva University and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, will explain why amendments offered by McGeehan and Rozzi to H.B. 342 – which would lift the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases — are constitutional and represent good public policy.
McGeehan Amendment 188 would open a two-year window for victims to file civil charges in cases where the statute of limitations has expired – and would suspend the sovereign immunity that protects school and government officials from prosecution in such cases.
Rozzi Amendment 189, designed as a procedural backup, calls for the same two-year window as McGeehan’s amendment, minus the sovereign immunity suspension.
Hamilton, author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect its Children” and a former clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, is a leading church and state scholar who weighed in on the constitutionality issue in a new article available at http://bit.ly/Z3sBA6.
“We are pleased to have someone of Professor Hamilton’s stature join us in our effort to seek justice for victims of child sexual abuse – no matter how large or powerful the person or institution that wishes to remain protected,” McGeehan said. “She is helping clear a smokescreen so that everyone is able to clearly see what can be done.”
Rozzi, a victim of child sexual abuse by a priest and who has had similarly affected friends commit suicide, said, “We commend Marci Hamilton for lending her clear-minded and expert legal voice to the cause of peeling back longstanding veils of secrecy, which if left in place only serve to create a hiding place for pedophiles to escape detection and justice.”
CONTACT: Paul Sunyak
House Democratic Communications Office