Gov. Jindal Signs Law Requiring Witnesses to Disclose Sexual Abuse

Posted on May 26, 2012 in Legislation, Local Issues

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

On Friday, Governor Jindal signed into law a bill that will impose criminal penalties on adult witnesses of child sexual abuse who do not report the incidents.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Joseph Lopinto III, R-Metairie, was drafted in response to the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Penn State Football Coach, Jerry Sandusky, earlier this year.

The legislation will allow penalties including fines of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 5 years.

While the bill certainly appears to be motivated by the right intentions, it is unclear at this point what its effects will be in practice. Obvious concerns include an increase in unfounded allegations made by individuals who are afraid of being held liable after hearing or seeing things that may or may not actually be related to sexual abuse. Ideally, however, the bill will result in prevention of sexual abuse of children.

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