Following the stunning revelations at Penn State involving former assistant football coach and now-convicted pedophile, Jerry Sandusky, a California Law would mandate college employees to report suspected child sexual abuse.
According to an Associated Press (AP) report, the bill passed the Senate yesterday—unanimously—and is moving into the Assembly. If passed there, as expected, the bill would require, by law, that all California college employees report suspected child sexual abuse. Senator Ron Calderon (Democrat-Monterey Park) said that AB1434 “can be summed up in one word: Sandusky,” wrote the AP.
Today, California law mandates that teachers, teacher aides, doctors, and others involved in the supervision of children, report abuse suspicions, said the AP. It was the child sex abuse convictions against Sandusky, said Calderon, that showed the world that more extensive reporting involving university employees is needed. In fact, noted the AP, two school officials were charged for neglecting to report the allegations of abuse in the Sandusky case.
Under the proposed law, failure to report child abuse by a mandatory reporter can lead to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
As we’ve written, retired Penn State football defensive coordinator and founder of the now-defunct Second Mile charity, Jerry Sandusky, was charged and convicted of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Of the original 52 counts filed, four were dropped, and Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of the remaining 48 on June 22: Eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, ten counts of corruption of minors, and ten counts of endangering the welfare of children.
Now, facing a maximum of 442 years in prison, with a speculated minimum of 60 years, convicted child sex offender Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Meanwhile, Sandusky could also face federal charges in Texas and Florida and Penn State could face civil lawsuits and millions of dollars in liability from Sandusky’s alleged victims.
University trustees fired long-time President Graham Spanier and the school’s legendary head football coach, Joe Paterno. This, following a grand jury presentment charging then-key university administrators, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, with perjury in an alleged cover-up. Sandusky, Curley, and Schultz continue to maintain their innocence; Paterno has since died.
A headline-making external investigation conducted by Louis Freeh, a former FBI director, prompted changes at the school that include broadened and repeated background checks on all Penn State employees and expanded child abuse recognition and reporting training, including training for campus volunteers. Penn State hired a coordinator to manage its Clery Act (a federal law governing campus crime reports) compliance and is seeking an oversight officer to manage the 100 or so university officials who must comply with an array of safety measures. That position will report to the board of trustees.