This means you, Mike McQueary.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., says she’ll introduce a pair of bills tomorrow that she says will protect children from abuse by strengthening federal and state reporting requirements so abuse is reported to local law enforcement or a child protective agency.
“To protect our children from violence and abuse, anyone who sees or knows about a crime against a child must report it to local authorities. Right now, the federal government and 32 states have no such requirement in law,” Boxer said in her news release.
Boxer’s bills – the State Child Protection Act and the Federal Child Protection Act –require that anyone who witnesses or has reasonable suspicion of a crime against a child must report it to local law enforcement or a child protective agency. Under the State Child Protection Act, states that fail to comply would lose some of their federal justice assistance grants. The Federal Child Protection Act would require all persons on federal property to report child abuse.
California does not have comprehensive reporting requirements for child abuse, Boxer noted.
McQueary, a Penn State assistant football coach, apparently did not contact police after witnessing the alleged rape of a 10-year-old boy by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in an athletic facility shower in 2002.
UPDATE @ 3:48 P.M.: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., today introduced a similar bill requiring all states to pass and enforce a law requiring all adults to report instances of known or suspected child abuse; Boxer is the bill’s co-sponsor. The main difference between Boxer’s bill and Casey’s bill is the specific funding the federal government would withhold from states that don’t comply: Boxer’s threatens to revoke part of a state’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding from the Justice Department, while Casey’s would hold back funding through the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act administered by the Health and Human Services Department.