Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was expected to enter a Pennsylvania courtroom Tuesday and hear testimony from several teenagers and men that he sexually abused them, some by rape, when they were young boys.
But early Tuesday, Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing, a decision that moves him toward a trial as the 67-year-old faces more than 50 counts involving sexually molestation of 10 boys that he met through The Second Mile, a youth charity he founded.
In their grand jury testimonies, the boys claimed that over a 15-year period, Sandusky’s advances ranged from soapy shower hugs to rape in his basement during sleepovers.
Sandusky is currently free from jail on $250,000 bail. Penn State’s president and its legendary football coach Joe Paterno were fired for not doing enough to stop the alleged sexual abuse.
In the wake of the reports that those two and others at Penn State failed to properly inform authorities of the possible sexual abuse, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that some Georgia lawmakers, including State Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), say the state’s “mandatory reporting law should cast a wider net to protect more children from being victimized by sexual predators.”
Golick, who chairs the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, has indicated that the mandatory reporting law is currently being reviewed. By law in Georgia, those that are currently required to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse include:
Physicians licensed to practice medicine, iterns, or residents;
Hospital or medical personnel;
Licensed psychologists and persons participating in internships to obtain licensing;
Registered professional nurses or licensed practical nurses licensed;
Professional counselors, social workers, or marriage and family therapists;
School guidance counselors, visiting teachers, school social workers, or school psychologists;
Child welfare agency personnel;
Child service organization personnel; or
Law enforcement personnel.
Not reporting suspected abuse to law enforcement or child protective services is a misdemeanor for these mandatory reporters with conviction leading up to a year in prison.
But some feel all adults should fall into this category. In fact, there has already been such proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress and the bill would require all states to mandates such to be eligible for federal social services funding.
What do you think? In the wake of the Penn State child-abuse scandal, do you feel all adults should be required to report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities? Tell us in the comments below.