Legal Recourse For Survivors of Catholic Church Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is a former prosecutor who now represents the survivors of sexual violence in civil court. We’ve asked him for some insight into the legal options available to survivors of Catholic Church sexual abuse in Pennsylvania:
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations laws for sexual abuse are outdated. As of November 2018, the criminal statute of limitations ends when the victim turns 50 years old. The civil statute of limitations, which allows victims to file lawsuits, ends at the victim’s 30th birthday. However, activists have been pressuring state lawmakers to extend these windows following the release of a Grand Jury report detailing the widespread scope of sexual abuse in Catholic Church dioceses across Pennsylvania.
If you were sexually abused as a child in the Catholic Church, you have legal rights. Even if the statute of limitations has expired, these laws could change soon. A November 14 legislative session ended without changes to reform, but victims and activists will return to Harrisburg in January to continue their fight for justice.
If you’d like to learn more about your legal options as a survivor of child sexual abuse, we advise speaking to an experienced catholic church abuse lawyer.
Location of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary