Massachusetts sexual abuse law
Richards, Edward P.
RichardsE at UMKC.EDU
Fri Mar 1 09:38:55 PST 2002
> Indiana law requires anyone knowing of child abuse to
> report it. I
> recently asked a lawyer whose work involves child abuse if
> anyone had ever
> been prosecuted for violating it; he thought not.
I am not so sure he has enough information. I do not know of prosecutions, but then the odds are that they would result in plea bargains and not be reported, and thus be invisible. In states that allow negligence per se, reporting laws can be used as the basis for tort claims. Missouri, which is very hostile to negligence per se, almost allowed a claim based on child abuse reporting statute. As you mention later in your post, these rules are very important for professionals because they change privacy rules, and they can be used against the professional's license. They are critical to changing the behavior of institutions such as schools and day care centers. I think they empower reporting by decent people who believe that they would otherwise be sued for reporting - many people, including a lot of professionals, do not understand that it is not an invasion of privacy to report a crime if you cannot "prove" it.
Edward P. Richards
Executive Director - Center for Public Health Law
The Ruby M. Hulen/UMKC Professor of Law
University of Missouri Kansas City
(816)235-2370 Fax (816)235-5276
richardse at umkc.edu
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