Failing to report child abuse would be a felony under bills approved by Senate panel


February 27, 2018

By Emily Lawler

Note: This story has been changed to reflect that the proposed changes to the criminal statute of limitations are not retroactive.

An employee and mandated reporter who fails to report suspected child abuse would be guilty of a felony punishable by up to two years in prison under a package of bills approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The bills, announced on Monday, are a reaction to the case involving ex-MSU Dr. Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault. More than 250 women accused him of molesting them, and some told authority figures who failed to report their allegations.

As proposed, the package would have taken the punishment for an employee and mandatory reporter who failed to report child abuse or neglect from a 93-day misdemeanor to a 1-year misdemeanor.

But an amendment from Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, took the punishment up to a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. For volunteers who are mandatory reporters and don’t report, it would be a one-year felony and/or fine of up to $1,000.

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