HARRISBURG—Legislation sponsored Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) to increase the penalties for failing to report ongoing child sex abuse has passed the House.
In 2014, following the revelations of the child abuse investigation, the Legislature rewrote the Child Protective Services Law as it relates to those who are required to report suspected child abuse by virtue of their profession or position.
“My bill-- Act 32 of 2014-- dramatically increased the penalties for failing to report suspected child abuse,” Stephens said. “The recent Pennsylvania Diocese Victims Grand Jury Report detailing widespread child sexual abuse recognized my efforts, but recommended clarifying when those tougher penalties apply. House Bill 1051 does that.”
House Bill 1051
makes it a third-degree felony for an “ongoing” failure to report continuing sexual abuse “while the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe the abuser is likely to commit additional acts of child abuse.”
“This bill ensures that mandated reporters who leave children in harm’s way exposing them to further abuse receive a higher penalty,” Stephens said.
This closes a loophole in the 2014 state law that mandates reporting of suspected child sex abuse by virtue of someone's profession or position.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster