With Anthony, Penn State Case Prompts Calls for Tougher Laws

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Legislators in several states are reacting to the Penn State child sex abuse scandal by proposing stricter child abuse reporting requirements, reports Stateline.org. Pennsylvania, reeling over allegations that a former Penn State football coach sexually molested at least eight boys over 15 years, could could change its child abuse reporting law before the end of the year, said Gov. Tom Corbett. A new law likely would require those who learn of child abuse to report the crime directly to police rather than to third parties, such as university officials.

Two New York legislators are calling for the addition of university coaches and administrators to the list of people currently required to report child abuse to the police, says the Albany Times Union. A Maryland senator may propose criminal penalties for those required to report suspected child abuse but fail to do so. The Penn State scandal is the second time in four months that state legislators are responding to a high-profile case by vowing to create stricter reporting requirements for possible crimes against children. Proposals for tougher criminal penalties for failing to reporting a missing child were made after Casey Anthony was found not guilty in Florida for murdering her 2-year-old daughter. No one had reported Caylee Anthony missing for more than a month after her disappearance.

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