HARRISBURG – In an effort to bridge the gap between conflicting House and Senate proposals addressing past cases of child sexual abuse, Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) today at a Capitol news conference unveiled his proposal for a comprehensive solution which avoids costly and time-consuming litigation.
Schemel has introduced legislation that would create a “Truth and Restoration Commission” to hear testimony from victims as well as the institutions responsible for past abuse. Victims with credible claims would also receive compensation from a special fund created by contributions from the institutions which concealed abusers.
“First and foremost, we want to get the truth out. What has happened in the past has to be revealed,” said Schemel. “It would allow victims to be compensated. It would also allow these organizations to be restored and get them out from under this cloud they’ve created because of past concealment of abuse.”
To view Schemel’s video comments, visit here
The state commission would have seven members, appointed by the governor, House and Senate, and include an attorney, an accountant and a psychologist. Compensation payments would be based on a formula that would take into account the nature and extent of the abuse, in addition to any prior settlements and total number of victims. The commission would have a defined tenure of 10 years.
“Time is running out. Right now, we have different propositions in the House and Senate and they are irreconcilable,” Schemel concluded. “We need to get somewhere beyond that, which is why I’m proposing something that’s different. We can be creative in coming up with a solution that can give justice to the abused individuals and truly bring restoration.”
A video of the entire news conference is available for viewing at RepSchemel.com
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Links to broadcast-quality Sot
Representative Paul Schemel
90th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs