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Sex abuse victim, now lawmaker, seeks to end statute of limitations

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jan 03 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 04 2013 05:51:07 PM CST

A man who said he was sexually abused 30 years ago wants to change the statute of limitation laws in Pennsylvania.

READING, Pa. -

A man who said he was sexually abused 30 years ago wants to change the statute of limitation laws in Pennsylvania. 

Mark Rozzi lobbied for the last three years as a constituent. As a recently-sworn-in state representative, he plans to introduce a bill.

Rozzi said 30 years have passed, but he remembers being 13-years-old.

"The whole time I was being groomed and I was taken up into his room multiple occasions," said Rozzi. "On the last occasion, I was actually taken up with another boy."

Rozzi said he was raped by a Catholic priest in Muhlenberg Township.

"We made a pact that day, me and the other boy, that we're never going to tell this story ever again," said Rozzi.

That decision allowed the statute of limitations to pass for prosecution in Pennsylvania.

"I relive the moment all the time. Why couldn't I stand up and say anything. I could have saved so many young boys that followed me if I would have had the courage to speak up," said Rozzi.

But he said he got the courage in 2009 because of another child abuse victim.

"After my friend committed suicide, I made a pact with myself I will never look back, and I don't care what hurdles I get over, I'm going to get over them and do everything we can," said Rozzi.

He said his fight to help child abuse victims has gained strength since his election.

"The only way we're ever going to cleanse this, purify it and make it whole for all the victims, that we remove the statute of limitations," said Rozzi, who plans to introduce a bill on January 23. "It's not going to be easy. There are many special interests out there who kill this bill, and that is simply why it doesn't get passed."

But he said he believes protecting children is a non-partisan issue.