GirlGov teen pushes anti-stalking legislation

Sarah Pesi said she was 13 and powerless.
The Rostraver girl was enjoying her job as a youth soccer referee when a man involved with the organization began harassing her. The man, whom she declined to describe, would show up at games he had no reason to attend, violate her personal space and at least once put his hands on her, she said.
“I was 13. It was really terrifying,” said Pesi, now 17 and a senior at Belle Vernon Area High School. “I realized he shouldn’t be working with little kids.”
Pesi quit her refereeing job and reported the incidents to police but soon learned there was little else she could do.
To obtain a protection-from-abuse order in Pennsylvania, she said she had to be related to or have dated the man, and neither was the case.
“I was pretty upset that all these people knew, yet nothing was being done to help me,” Pesi said. “I was dumbfounded that people could violate your personal space and … nothing could be done about it.”
Pesi used her experience to draft a piece of legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen, that has been awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee since May 2011. (Read more.)