Rep. Todd Stephens Plans Bill to Expand Reporting


I wish more Republicans would join Stephens in an effort to better protect PA’s children. I hope he and his colleagues consider introducing legislation or co-sponsoring existing bills to remove the statutes of limitations in child sex abuse cases. This would also identify child predators. There is no statute of limitations for murder in PA. Why should there be one for child sex abuse? I also wish the Catholic Church would use their lobbyists to fight for children instead of against them.

Click here to read: “Stephens plans bill to require more to report suspected child abuse,” by Gary Weckselblatt, The Intelligencer, November 11, 2011

Excerpt from article:

“Current law only requires that the abuse be reported to the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge.

“I believe we all have an obligation to protect children if we suspect they are being abused,” he said. “My legislation will require anyone who suspects a child is being abused to report it to law enforcement.”

Stephens said he hopes his bill will “send a message that we all have an obligation to look after the children in Pennsylvania.”

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8 Responses to “Rep. Todd Stephens Plans Bill to Expand Reporting”

  1. The horrific Penn State grand jury revelations, on top of the Philly grand jury findings, make clear PA needs both a mandatory and comprehensive reporting law, with real penalties, and SOL reform.

    Moreover, we also need nationwide Federal laws to protect all American children.We have seen with Penn State how local government officials are unwilling at times to enforce the law against powerful abusers, whether they coach football or tout religion.

    President Obama followed his private meeting earlier this week with the head of the US Bishops, NY’s Timothy Dolan, with a direct statement that protecting children is the top priority. Let’s hold him and Republican presidential candidates to their words in next November’s election..

    For more on Pres. Obama stance with the US bishops on preventing child abuse nationally, please read my comment under the comment heading, “Election and Sex Abuse War”, accessible by clicking on at:

    http://ncronline.org/news/politics/obama-meets-quietly-head-us-bishops

  2. Kathy, are victims groups talking to Stephens about adding a SOL to hs proposed legislation?

    As I understand his present proposed bill, he is extending the statutes of limitations to lengthen the time for prosecuting those who fail to report!!

    The logical next step would be to remove SOLS so that those who have been abused, may seek justice in the courts.

    Does Stephens know that when SOLs in CA were opened up, 300 unknown predators were identified?

  3. Oops, Kathy …meant to ask if Stephens was willing to not only extend the SOLs to give more time to prosecutors to go after those who fail to report abuse, BUT, perhaps, include language in his proposed bill to extend the statutes of limitations to give victims an opportunity to seek justice in the courts?

    I believe that most of the Sandusky victims now noted in their Grand Jury report may well fall within the timeframe to litigate. However, as more older Sandusky victims come forth, they may well need that SOL extension to seek justice in the courts, so if you want to help the victims of Penn State, and others, the statute of limitations window, needs to be opened up!

    • Joan Rep Stephens is the secretary on the Judiciary Committee which Marsico is the chair. I know people have been in touch with Stephen’s office in the past and I am sure with things developing at present also.

  4. I posted this question to Susan over at Justice4PAkids. I was wondering if Justice4PAkids has been able to meet with the student leaders of the candlelight vigil at PSU and enlist their help in spreading the word to the PSU branch campuses and their friends at other PA colleges to support these legislative changes? I was so impressed with how quickly they organized the vigil and also collected money for victims’ groups as Laura noted yesterday in her comment.

    What if we were able to enlist students attending the numerous Phila area Catholic colleges to join us at either a first Friday vigil in front of 222 N 17th St or a candlelight vigil in support of the victims on the Parkway the night before the trial starts for Msgr Lynn et al. in March?

    • Wow, Teresa, the idea about the Philadelphia Catholic College students is terrific. I think the Penn State students have put the clergy of the Philadelphia diocese to shame. College students at a non-Catholic University are touched enough by this situation to hold a vigil within days of hearing of it. Our priests, bishops and cardinals have yet to do anything like that. Many pastors have not even brought it up to their congregations since February’s Grand Jury report. In whose company does one feel Christ’s presence most right now. In the midst of those students or with the bishops of the Philadelphia archdiocese? I’d say that’s a pretty easy answer.

    • Theresa,
      I say we strike while the iron is hot and hold the vigil on a Sunday as a kick off to the Christmas holidays. What better way to honor Christ’s birth – an effort to protect all children. The Church lobbyists are hindering laws that would identify predators. In protecting themselves they are putting children at risk. ALL people must come out and tell the Catholic church that they should be fighting for children – not against them.

  5. A tribute to Our Philadelphia Priests and Seminarians

    3

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