A June 11, 2019, decision by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has broadened Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations (SOL) for sexual abuse cases. The court held that Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse may be expanded when a diocese has covered up or concealed ongoing abuse by its priests. The question of whether a diocese cover-up prevented an abuse victim from timely filing a claim against the diocese will become a question for the jury. If a victim can successfully argue that he or she first became aware of a diocesan cover-up when the 2018 Grand Jury Report on clergy sexual abuse was released, the victim may be allowed 2 years from the time the report was released to file a claim against the diocese.

If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse by a clergy member, scout master, or other predator, contacting a sexual abuse attorney as quickly as possible may enable you to pursue a claim against the predator who abused you. Contact Heiligman & Mogul’s experienced sexual abuse attorneys, today, for a compassionate and cost-free evaluation of your case.

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Sexual Abuse Report

The 2018 Grand Jury Report of sexual abuse by Pennsylvania priests / clergy covered every diocese in the State except Altoona-Johnstown and Philadelphia, accounting for 54 of the State’s 67 counties. The report revealed more than one thousand identifiable child victims from the churches’ own records, alone. The committee that conducted the investigation believes that the actual number of abuse victims is in the thousands.

According to the report, because of the ongoing cover-up by these Pennsylvania dioceses, almost every instance of sexual abuse discovered by the committee was too old to be prosecuted by the time the cover-up became known. The Superior Court’s expansion of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases can go a long way toward righting this horrific injustice by allowing victims who were abused decades ago to still file lawsuits against the dioceses with which their abusers were associated. Victims who would have been denied a remedy under the old law for the abuse they suffered may now be able to bring those who covered up the actions of their abusers to justice.

Contact a Philadelphia Sexual Abuse Attorney

Filing a claim as soon as possible against a sexual predator or organization that covered up the abuse is critical to your chances of recovery. Contact our experienced Philadelphia sexual abuse attorneys, today, for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.