Neil O'Donnell standing for a photo with Mark Rozzi

By Neil T. O’Donnell 

After 11 years of service in the Pennsylvania legislature, Representative Mark Rozzi has announced his retirement. He will be missed.

One of the most consequential legislators in recent history, Representative Rozzi is very open about the fact that he himself is a survivor of sexual abuse perpetrated upon him, as a boy, by his parish priest. Other boys abused by the same priest committed suicide later in life. It was at that point that Representative Rozzi ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives—and won.

And when Mark Rozzi won, citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania won. Rozzi stood for children, child safety, and for all victims of sexual exploitation.

Representative Rozzi helped change the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to allow for legal actions against municipal entities where children had been abused. Under Representative Rozzi’s urging, Pennsylvania extended the statute of limitations in those cases, lifted caps on compensatory damages, and fought for what Rozzi called, “absolute parity” in sex abuse cases – meaning sex abuse cases get the same treatment as regular negligence cases.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers, recognizing Mark Rozzi’s commitment to child safety and victims of sexual exploitation, recently awarded Representative Rozzi its Distinguished Service Award. I was honored to be involved in the presentation of that award, with President Brian Price, as depicted in the photo below.

Pennsylvania is a better place because of Representative Rozzi’s service.


Neil O'Donnell standing for a photo with Mark Rozzi

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