Bills to combat child sexual abuse move ahead in Legislature

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FILE – In this Monday, April 18, 2005 file photo, U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick attends a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. On Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 the Vatican announced Pope Francis defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing Confession. (AP […]

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two related bills designed to help victims of child sexual abuse are moving ahead in the Pennsylvania Legislature and could pass the state House in the coming days.

The House Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly Monday for a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes and for a constitutional amendment that would permit child sexual abuse lawsuits that would otherwise be outdated during a two-year period.

Both measures are widely supported in the House, but the state Senate’s Republican majority blocked similar legislation last year.

Constitutional amendments must pass both chambers in two consecutive two-year sessions and then be approved by voters.

A state grand jury report last year concluded about 300 Roman Catholic priests had abused more than 1,000 children over seven decades.

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