Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse

Many people have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of someone they trusted. Most of us are familiar with cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church due to highly publicized cases of priest sexual abuse, but church sex scandals are just one example of an issue that affects many Pennsylvania residents. Pennsylvania sexual abuse also occurs at schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places where circumstances allow. State Reps. Louise Williams Bishop and Mike McGeehan, both Democrats from Philadelphia, are seeking to remove time limits for those seeking justice for suffered sexual abuse. Speaking out about sexual abuse is important in two ways: It can stop the abuser from hurting others and it helps bring a sense of closure for the victim. Speaking out can feel intimidating, but you and your loved ones are not alone. Lawyers such as Sam Rogatinsky specialize in helping you find your voice in court.


Sexual Abuse

Unlike clergy abuse, sexual abuse can be perpetrated by anyone and occur anywhere. The most common places for sexual abuse to occur are schools, camps, nursing homes, mental health facilities, group homes, and organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. Countless children have been sexually abused in Pennsylvania by those who were entrusted with their care, such as teachers, Boy Scout leaders, camp counselors, and so on. These adults are supposed to protect children, but instead cause them harm, such as mentor Michael Davis who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two teenage boys.

Adults are also sexually abused. At nursing homes and mental health facilities all over Pennsylvania, social workers and psychologists take advantage of the vulnerable adults that they are supposed to be protecting. Fortunately, the perpetrators can be made to pay for the pain they have caused, but you must seek representation. Sam will help to make sure that everything possible is done to assure that your suffering has not been in vain.


Clergy Abuse

Although the Catholic Church is not the only venue for sexual abuse, it has been the most publicized due to the lack of bishop accountability. When the media picked up on the fact that bishops were just moving sexually abusive priests to another church, news outlets ran with the story. The truth is that clergy abuse includes not only Catholic priests, but rabbis, ministers, reverends, pastors, office staff at places of worship, religious youth directors, and anyone who works for a place of worship, such as convicted child molester and Jewish clergyman Ex-cantor Phillip Wittlin, who was sent to prison for sexually abusing two girls he was supposed to be training for their Bat Mitzvahs. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by someone in this category, you now have an avenue of help available to you. You do not have to be a victim anymore. Contact Sam to find out how you can take control of what happened and help make sure it doesn’t happen to others.


Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse and Clergy Abuse Statute of Limitations

Pennsylvania is not a great state for victims of sexual abuse. The legislature does recognize the need for delayed tolling for minors and therefore, survivors who were sexually abused before they were 18 years old, have twelve years after turning 18 to file a claim. Bringing a criminal proceeding is not a prerequisite.

Pennsylvania has no discovery statute for repressed memories: The courts in Pennsylvania will not toll the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases regardless of the victim’s inability to bring suit due to repressed memories. The Court hastily reasoned that the discovery statute is for when “the injury is not readily discernible as opposed to cases where it is the incapacity of the plaintiff which causes the delay in bringing suit.”

Finally, continuing with its unfriendly way, the Pennsylvania statute has no retroactive provisions and therefore it will not revive any claim which has been barred by a prior existing statute of limitations.

If you were sexually abused by a priest, rabbi, coach, psychologist or any other person who sexually abused you, please don’t feel ashamed. We want to help you.


Contact me, sexual abuse lawyer Samuel Rogatinsky at (954) 995-3805 or send an email to