HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement today in response to the status of legislation to extend the statutes of limitations in crimes involving the sexual abuse of children:
“I have had the chance to meet with a number of victims of child sexual assault over the past several weeks, and my heart aches for the pain and suffering that all of them have had to endure. Lawmakers have a solemn obligation to do everything in our power to help these survivors find justice. I am deeply disappointed that we were not able to complete that process this week, but I remain committed to working with all interested parties to find a solution to support past, present and future victims.
“This issue demands a willingness for all parties to come together and negotiate in good faith, not posture for political gain. I urge House leaders, interested parties and other stakeholders to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible so we can work together and make sure the job is done right. We need to have an open and honest conversation about the best way to move forward. That cannot happen when House leaders are communicating with the Senate solely via news conferences and tweets.
“I voted in favor of Senate Bill 261 more than 20 months ago, and it sat in a House committee until the final few days of session. Even given all of that time, the House’s amendment neglected to address two of the four recommendations of the grand jury. The House amendment also made it more difficult for certain classes of victims to ever hold their abusers accountable. It is absolutely unconscionable to treat some victims worse than others.
“The stakes are too high and the consequences too severe for lawmakers to make any misstep in addressing this issue. Numerous issues need to be resolved with this legislation in order to ensure every grand jury recommendation is met. We need to address this challenge in a way that makes sense for all victims, while at the same time working to ensure no child ever has to endure the same kind of appalling crimes.”
CONTACT: Katrina Anderson (717) 787-1463