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Penn State Scandal Could Impact Pennsylvania Law

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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Bob Allen joined the KDKA-TV team in January 2000 as a General...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The failure by Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary or anybody else at Penn State to notify police when Jerry Sandusky was caught in the shower with a young boy has spurred new legislation.

State Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Westwood, is proposing a bill to make it mandatory to report sexual abuse.

“If something was done initially, it could have saved a lot of trauma on a lot of young victims over the years – very frustrating because all it would have taken is one call to law enforcement,” he said.

McQueary reported the alleged abuse to coach Joe Paterno as required, but nothing was ever done until Sandusky was arrested nine years later. Deasy’s bill would require everyone to report abuse immediately.

“Currently now there’s only certain professionals teachers and social workers that are required to report it to a supervisor, but our bill would make it mandatory to report it to law enforcement.”

The penalty for failing to report abuse is a third degree felony and up to seven years in prison.

However, Dr. Marcia Sturdivant with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services believes the current law is adequate and a new law may increase the caseload in the department.

“If we are mandated to do something that’s provides further protection then we’re going to step up to the plate and assume that responsibility,” she said.

Governor Corbett has requested stronger legislation by the end of the year. The bottom line is keeping the children safe.

“If it’s your child what would you do or what would you want someone else to do to protect your child?” Dr. Sturdivant said.

“I got four kids of my own,” Deasy said. “It’s real frustrating to read how the university handled it for so many years.”

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