Task force urges sweeping changes to PA child protection laws


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

By Mark Shade Correspondent

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Legislature should enact extensive changes to the state’s child abuse laws, a panel of pediatricians, lawyers and lawmakers recommended Tuesday after a year-long study prompted by the arrest of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on molestation charges.

The Task Force on Child Protection, chaired by Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, issued dozens of proposals that would change everything from the definition of child abuse to who would be legally mandated to report suspected child abuse.

In a case that drew international attention, Sandusky was sentenced in October to between 30 and 60 years for sexually abusing underage boys on campus and elsewhere. Legendary football coach Joe Paterno lost his job, along with three other top PSU officials for their response to complaints about Sandusky.

The Legislature created the task force after Sandusky’s indictment 13 months ago, but Heckler insisted the group took a wider view of the issue.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.