Statement by Attorney General Shapiro on Four Reforms Recommended by PA Grand Jury on Child Sex Abuse, and Debate in the PA Senate

October 17, 2018 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a statement today as the Pennsylvania Senate’s leadership considers moving forward on a proposal that does not contain the four reforms as recommended by the Statewide Grand Jury, which investigated child sexual abuse by Catholic priests and the institutional cover up by senior church officials spanning decades.

“I stand with the survivors of clergy abuse and the 23 men and women of the Grand Jury, who made four specific recommendations after hearing gut-wrenching testimony for 2 ½ years and reviewing evidence of child sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania,” Attorney General Shapiro said.

“The proposal that the Senate Republicans are discussing with their members does not meet that standard, and is unacceptable.”

“Just this morning, I was in Jefferson County to accept a guilty plea from a priest whose abuse of two victims was allowed to occur by a bishop in Erie who covered it up for eight years. That cover up should not be without consequence – the institution cannot be left off the hook – yet that’s precisely what the Senate proposed to do.”

“I hope that Senate Majority Leader Corman will listen to the facts, reality, and analysis I presented to him, and that he goes back to his caucus and talks with his members so that they ultimately join with the Grand Jury and stand with survivors. There needs to be a civil window in the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse- and that window needs to apply to everyone.”

“The Catholic Church – the very institution that enabled this abuse – cannot be exempt.”

“The Senate is now alone on an island. The House, the survivors, the 23 grand jurors, Representative Rozzi and myself all stand together in support of the four recommendations of the Grand Jury and against this Senate proposal.”

“Senators have a tough choice to make over the next few hours. Will they choose to stand with victims and survivors and vote yes on the Grand Jury’s four recommended reforms? Or will they stand with the Church, its lobbyists and the insurance industry and fail to act?”

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