Thursday, November 10, 2011

Deasy to introduce bill to expand mandatory reporting of child abuse

HARRISBURG, Nov. 9 – State Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, announced today he plans to introduce legislation expanding the requirements on the mandatory reporting of suspected sexual abuse of a child to law enforcement.

“I was saddened to learn about recent reports by the Attorney General that there were individuals that had direct knowledge of alleged sexual crimes against children and did not report it to law enforcement,” Deasy said.

Deasy’s bill would require an individual who witnesses or an individual who is told by a direct witness about a sexual crime against a child to report it to law enforcement. Failure to report such violations could result in a third-degree felony charge, which carries a sentence of up to seven years in jail.

The current mandatory reporting law only requires individuals who witness abuse to report such instances to their direct supervisor or authority of the institution. The law pertains to those who work with children directly including physicians, nurses, teachers, and social workers.

“The reporting of a sexual offense against a child is the moral and ethical thing to do,” Deasy said. “I want to make it the legal thing to do and I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in standing up for our children.”

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