Massachusetts Lawmaker Seeks to Widen Sex Abuse Laws in Wake of Penn State

Following the scandal engulfing Penn State University, one Massachusetts lawmaker says he wants to widen laws governing who must report alleged sexual misconduct toward children.

Rep. Kevin Kuros, a Republican from Uxbridge, said he plans to introduce a measure to require state employees who witness or have knowledge of instances of sexual abuse to report it to law enforcement agencies, as reported by WCVB.

Kuros, a Penn State alumnus, was spurred to action by the alleged sexual abuse of eight young boys by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. He says current Massachusetts law is similar to Pennsylvania law in that many categories of state employees are not mandated to report abuse under the mandated reporter laws.

According to published grand jury testimony, former head football coach Joe Paterno and ousted university President Graham Spanier both knew of the alleged abuse, but did not report it to police. Both men were relieved of their duties by Penn State’s board of trustees after a meeting last Wednesday night.

Massachusetts law presently classifies mandatory reporters as including doctors, dentists, medical professionals, police officers, firefighters, social workers, teachers, those whose jobs require them to work with children, and members of clergy.

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