House approves tougher rules on child sexual abuse reporting
The state Capitol in Harrisburg. (Photo by Tom Downing/WITF)
(Harrisburg) — The Pennsylvania House is approving tougher penalties for people who don’t report suspicions about repeated child sexual abuse and it’s clarifying that nondisclosure agreements can’t prevent people from talking to police in child molestation investigations.
Lawmakers on Wednesday voted for a proposal that could also eliminate the statute of limitations when mandated reporters fail to properly report ongoing abuse. The vote was 162 to 22.
They also unanimously approved a bill that requires nondisclosure agreements to specify that they do not prohibit cooperating with police.
Both bills were sent to the Senate.
Both proposals are based on recommendations in a grand jury report last year into sexual abuse of children by about 300 Roman Catholic priests in the state, going back seven decades.