By Delilah Rumburg, Patriot-News Op-Ed
April 08, 2013
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape works to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault. In doing so, we support public policies that protect victim rights, promote public safety and hold sex offenders accountable for their actions.
We support Rep. Marguerite Quinn's, R-Bucks, bill (HB342) to prohibit the release of the names of adult survivors of child sexual abuse
We also support legislation proposed by Reps. Michael McGeehan, D-Philadelphia, and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, to provide a two-year window of time to suspend the statute of limitations for adult survivors of child sexual abuse to pursue civil actions. Allowing victims time and privacy in the courts enhances safety for everyone.Read more...
MICHAEL O'KEEFFE, NY Daily News
MARCH 25, 2013 10:02 AM
Marci Hamilton, a Cardozo Law School professor who represents a man who says he was abused by convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, was among the victim advocates who blasted NBC and the "Today" show on Monday for broadcasting excerpts of an interview with the former Penn State defensive coordinator.
Here is the statement they sent to the media:
"This morning, NBC News and "Today" show Executive Producer Don Nash have collaborated with independent filmmaker John Ziegler to air portions of prison interviews recorded by Ziegler with convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky. Ziegler is seeking to profit by capitalizing on the controversy of the Sandusky scandal by producing and distributing a film. By airing these interviews, and capitalizing on the ensuing storm of controversy unleashed by this announcement, NBC has chosen to give national exposure for a second time to a child rapist whose indisputable guilt on over 40 counts of sexual abuse of children was agreed upon by a jury of his peers.
"These interviews have no independent news value, and will publicize and quite likely provide additional funding to Ziegler's independent project. It should be noted that members of the Paterno family have disavowed any connection to this project. Airing these clips will re-victimize some of the survivors of Sandusky's crimes. It also serves as highly unethical (and possibly illegal) harassment by Sandusky of his victims. NBC's decision to air these interviews places them in the role of abetting and assisting this harassment. Further, it serves to give credence to Ziegler, who has publicly proclaimed his doubts that Sandusky's behavior constituted sexual abuse.Read more...
HARRISBURG, March 15 - A law school professor and respected author will add her expertise on the constitutionality of child sexual abuse window legislation to a 1 p.m. Monday news conference in the Capitol Media Center, where state Reps. Michael P. McGeehan, D-Phila., and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, will discuss their efforts in this critical area.
Marci A. Hamilton, who teaches at New York's Yeshiva University and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, will explain why amendments offered by McGeehan and Rozzi to H.B. 342 - which would lift the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases -- are constitutional and represent good public policy.
McGeehan Amendment 188 would open a two-year window for victims to file civil charges in cases where the statute of limitations has expired - and would suspend the sovereign immunity that protects school and government officials from prosecution in such cases.Read more...
March 18, 2013
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape supports the abolition of the statute of limitations to report sexual assault and believes that adult survivors of sexual abuse for whom the statute of limitations has expired should be afforded a 2 year window of opportunity to report their victimization to authorities.
PCAR urges the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to act in the best interest of public safety by voting to approve these measures.
People who commit sexual offenses do not adhere to any prescribed time limitation for their crimes. Many are repeat offenders who throughout their lifetimes seek or create multiple opportunities to sexually offend against multiple victims, and leave a wake of mental, physical and spiritual devastation in our communities that may last years for each and every sexual assault victim. One of the only ways to stop offenders is to provide victims with the opportunity to tell authorities who the offenders are and what they have done.
Pennsylvania has become a national focal point for the issue of child sexual assault. Through the past year we have watched numerous adult survivors testify in very public trials about the torment they have endured not only from the personal impact of their abuse, but also from trying to determine whether to trust the public and our justice system with the truth of what they had endured.
It is time for Pennsylvania to heed the lessons that survivors of sexual abuse have been teaching and afford every opportunity for sexual abuse survivors to seek justice for themselves and to protect the community. Pennsylvania can do this by abolishing the statute of limitations and providing a two-year window for any survivor to seek justice through the criminal or civil justice systems.
Kristen L. Houser, MPA
Vice President of Communications & Development
"I am appalled that Mr. Marsico has chosen to misrepresent the constitutional law of Pennsylvania." - Marci A. Hamilton, Yeshiva University
By Ivey DeJesus | firstname.lastname@example.org | March 15, 2013
One of the country's leading church and state scholars is challenging state Rep. Ron Marsico's claims that suspending the statute of limitation in order to allow victims of child sex abuse to file charges against their predators is unconstitutional.
Marci A. Hamilton, a 20-year professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, argues that two amendments pertaining to the statutes of limitations and attached to House Bill 342 are constitutional and sound public policy.
In a report to the General Assembly, Hamilton argues that: "In reality, while the United States Supreme Court has closed the door on retroactive criminal legislation, it has found retroactive civil legislation to be constitutionally permissible."
Under the U.S. Constitution, Hamilton argues, retroactive civil legislation is constitutional if the legislative intent is clear and the change is procedural.
Hamilton said efforts over the past eight years to reform the law have been fueled by false and outdated arguments.
House Bill 342, sponsored by Rep. Marguerite Quinn, R-Bucks, would protect the identities of child sexual abuse victims from public disclosure.Read more...
By Ivey DeJesus | email@example.com | March 10, 2013
Ever since a 2005 grand jury report exposed decades of child sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, victims advocates have been trying to get the state to change a law, they say, hinders victims from seeking justice.
For years, their efforts to amend the statute of limitations have failed.
Now, in the wake of stunning child sexual abuse cases involving Jerry Sandusky, the Boy Scouts and the Los Angeles Archdiocese, advocates are hopeful that the time is right for the Legislature to once and for all amend the law. Past efforts have met with strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
On Monday, the state House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on House Bill 342 which will protect the identities of child sexual abuse victims from public disclosure.
In addition, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks), contains two amendments advocates say would remove obstacles that in the past have led to the defeat of reform measures.
One amendment, authored by state Rep. Mike McGeehan (D-Philadelphia), would open a two-year window for adult victims who have aged out of their opportunity to seek justice to file civil charges against abusers. McGeehan's amendment also would suspend the sovereign immunity clause, which protects public school teachers and government officials from prosecution in these cases.
The other amendment, sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), acts as a safety net in case McGeehan's amendments fail: His proposal would offer just the two-year window clause, not the sovereign immunity.Read more...
Bill White, Morning Call
March 6, 2013
Over the years, I have heard and told the stories of numerous men and women who were molested as children.
I wrote about one of them earlier this year, a 37-year-old survivor of a kidnapping and years of abuse. Unable to seek justice because his statute of limitations had expired, he has had to endure the additional torment of knowing his abuser is a youth sports coach today, with easy access to new victims.
Every time I talk to one of these survivors of child sex abuse, it strengthens my conviction that we need to change these statute of limitations laws, and not just because of the healing this would provide the victims, important as that is. In many cases, it also would identify predators who still have access to children.
Unfortunately, those efforts have been blocked by powerful institutional lobbyists and by legislative leaders — in the state House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, and minority Chairman Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks — who have buried these proposals to prevent their colleagues from discussing and voting on them.Read more...
Thu Sep 27, 2012, The Wartburg Watch
In our 3+years of blogging, two comments have stood out. In the comment section we mentioned that we would like to carefully look at Calvary Chapel since there seemed to be a fair amount of controversy surrounding this group of churches. The other involved our determination to visit Steven Furtick's church in Charlotte, again due to controversial posts and comments throughout the blogosphere.
We received one comment telling us to leave Furtick alone. The other said to investigate any churches we desire but we were not to discuss Calvary Chapel. Both of these comments struck me as vaguely threatening but were not repeated so we blew it off to overly zealous preacher apologetics. However, I remember telling both commenters that leaving strongly worded statements, as they did, only serves to induce us to investigate said churches. One must ask the question, "What are they "gospelly" afraid of?"Read more...
The Wartburg Watch
Thu Feb 14, 2013
In September, 2012, TWW reported on a story about a Calvary Chapel Pastor, Bob Grenier, who was suing his own son. This situation is the opposite of the SGM lawsuit in which those who were abused are suing those who allegedly covered up their abuse. In this situation, Alex Grenier, the adult stepson of Bob Grenier, came forward to report that he was physically abused by Bob Grenier after Bob married Alex's mother. Another brother alleged that he was sexually molested by Bob.
TWW wrote about this despicable turn of events in a post, Calvary Chapel-Mini-Moses Bob Grenier Sues His Own Son here. Here is a link to a blog, Calvary Chapel Abuse on which Alex began to tell his story of abuse. We also thank Julie Anne Smith who is dedicated to seeing this situation publicized. Please read the entire post for the background. Here is an excerpt about the alleged abuse from the post.Read more...
Patrick Rishe, Forbes.com Contributor 2/10/2013
A report commissioned by Joe Paterno's family says that the July 2012 Freeh report – authored by former FBI Director Louis Freeh – is "full of fallacies, unsupported personal opinions, false allegations and biased assertions."
Unfortunately for the Paterno family, their rebuttal to the Freeh report will likely do little to change the opinion of most individuals who have been subjected to the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sex scandal story over the last 2 years.
Why? Objectivity and common sense.
Mr. Freeh was hired by Penn State's Board of Trustees in November 2011 to examine the malfeasance which transpired in the years prior, and the report was not released until the following summer. Mr. Freeh had no prior ties to Penn State, and he had no motives to draw any specific conclusions.
Point being, (1) the report was not rushed, (2) the report was unbiased, and (3) Mr. Freeh had no personal axe to grind with Joe Paterno. Conversely, regardless of how well the report is written or researched, the fact remains that the rebuttal to Freeh has been commissioned by Mr. Paterno's family and been guided by his family's lawyers.Read more...
Collegian Staff Reports, 2/10/2013
The following is a statement issued by MaleSurvivor, a victims advocacy group that works with male survivors of child sex abuse, in response to the Paterno family's critique of former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
One of of the harshest truths when children are sexually abused is that the harm done impacts the lives of all those who were lied to and manipulated by the abuser. The efforts of the Paterno family to clear Coach Paterno's name are understandable, and the experts who have reviewed the Freeh report are all credible. However it is painfully obvious that the Paterno family was capable to invest significant time and resources into their private investigation that very few survivors of sexual abuse are ever able to invest into their own healing. The next step to reestablishing Coach Paterno's legacy will be to put at least as much energy into the fight to end sexual abuse of men and women as they have into attacking the Freeh report. To date, we are unaware of any specific actions the Paterno family has made to support the needs of the victims of Jerry Sandusky, or sexual abuse victims in general.
It should also be noted that sexual abuse is a scourge that impacts the lives of millions of people every year, including many young men and women on college campuses. It is only when the full truth of a person's life is understood that we can make a judgement about their legacy. To date neither the Freeh report, nor the Paterno family response has given us a full picture of what happened at Penn State and in Centre County during the years that Paterno and Sandusky prowled the sidelines.
By KEN BELSON, NY Times February 10, 2013
A report commissioned by the family of Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach, said he was unfairly tarnished and implicated in the sexual abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a longtime assistant who was convicted last year of sexually assaulting 10 boys.
The 238-page report, which was compiled by a team led by Richard Thornburgh, a former United States attorney general, and released Sunday, said an even larger investigation into the scandal by Louis Freeh, the former F.B.I. director, was "factually wrong, speculative and fundamentally flawed."
According to the Thornburgh report, the Freeh inquiry, which was ordered by the Penn State board of trustees and released in July, falsely accused Mr. Paterno of helping to cover up Sandusky's repeated abuse to shield the school from adverse publicity, and wrongly blamed the "football culture" at Penn State for helping foster Sandusky's crimes.
Unlike a legal proceeding, no one testified under oath and witnesses were allowed to speak anonymously in the Freeh report, which also failed to conduct interviews with "most of the key witnesses," the Thornburgh report said, including the university's top executives and Police Department as well as the district attorney's office in Centre County, where Penn State is.Read more...
After the Freeh Group, which had been retained as Special Investigative Counsel ("SIC") by the Penn State Board of Trustees to investigate the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, released its report in July 2012, the Paterno family asked King & Spalding to conduct a comprehensive review of both the report and Joe Paterno's conduct. They authorized us to engage preeminent experts and to obtain their independent analyses as an essential part of that review. This Critique of the Freeh report, which incorporates and attaches those independent analyses in full, sets the record straight. We conclude that the observations as to Joe Paterno in the Freeh report are unfounded, and have done a disservice not only to Joe Paterno and to the Penn State University community, but also to the victims of Jerry Sandusky and the critical mission of educating the public on the dangers of child sexual victimization.
Dick Thornburgh, former Attorney General of the United States, and experts Jim Clemente and Fred Berlin, have each carefully examined the July 12, 2012 report prepared by Louis Freeh, and have each determined that the report is deeply flawed and that key conclusions regarding Joe Paterno are unsubstantiated and unfair.Read more...
The Failure of the Freeh report
Former Attorney General Thornburgh and Top FBI Profiler challenge findings
Press Release by Paterno Family Sunday 2/10/2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and a team of other high-level experts have found that the Freeh report commissioned by the Penn State University Board of Trustees in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal is factually wrong, speculative and "fundamentally flawed."
In a comprehensive analysis released today [Feb. 10, 2013], Thornburgh and former top FBI profiler Jim Clemente, prominent Washington Attorney Wick Sollers and the director of The Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit, Dr. Fred Berlin, conclude that the Freeh report was a failure that does not meet the basic requirements of a thorough, objective and fair investigation.
Based on a review of all available evidence, including discussions with attorneys representing Curley, Schultz and Spanier, the experts conclude that the late Penn State Coach Joe Paterno did not attempt to hide any information or hinder or impede any investigation related to the crimes or conduct of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.Read more...
Colleagues say H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. is well-suited to the politically delicate task. H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr.'s findings could affect careers.
Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau | Sunday, February 10, 2013
HARRISBURG - Though his job will be to work as quietly as possible behind the scenes, former Philadelphia federal prosecutor H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. could become the most closely watched person in Harrisburg this year.
And those who know him say Moulton is well-suited to the tricky task at hand.
Last week, the state's new attorney general, Democrat Kathleen Kane, tapped him to reexamine, step by step, how investigators for a previous attorney general - Republican Tom Corbett - went after child molester Jerry Sandusky.
In his new role, Moulton will essentially be investigating the investigators behind one of the biggest criminal cases in recent Pennsylvania memory. The review is fraught with political implications: Poll after poll finds Pennsylvanians unsatisfied with how Gov. Corbett handled the case when he was attorney general.
Not that the case came to naught: As Corbett likes to point out, the Sandusky prosecution was successful, and the former Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
But charges weren't brought until nearly three years after the probe began, and therein lies Moulton's assignment: to find out whether the office took too long to bring the charges, and whether political considerations played into Corbett's decisions.Read more...