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Campaigns crank up pressure on Pennsylvania lawmakers over sex abuse lawsuits bill |

Campaigns crank up pressure on Pennsylvania lawmakers over sex abuse lawsuits bill

The Associated Press
A parishioner celebrates Communion on Aug. 17, 2018, at the Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick in Harrisburg.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s attorney general and several lawmakers are trying to apply public pressure ahead of a debate in the Legislature over giving victims of decades-old child sexual abuse another chance to file civil lawsuits.

Tuesday’s events at opposite ends of Pennsylvania are designed to marshal lawmakers’ support to enact recommendations in last month’s sweeping grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the recommendations is to create a two-year window for now-adult victims of child sexual abuse, including those abused by clergy, to file civil lawsuits after the statute of limitations on their cases ran out.

House Speaker Mike Turzai has said he expects his chamber to approve a two-year window. But Catholic dioceses and some senators say they believe it is unconstitutional.

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