Mo. Lawmaker Proposes Expanding Abuse Reporting
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A Missouri senator is proposing legislation to require everyone to report child sexual abuse that they witness to authorities.
Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch his measure focuses only on people who witness sexual abuse. The proposed legislation would make failing to report child sex abuse a misdemeanor with a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Currently only teachers, physicians, the clergy and members of certain other professions must report abuse.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster previously urged lawmakers to extend the mandatory reporting requirement to everyone.
Opponents say the legislation could lead to an influx of unwarranted reports of abuse that would make it more difficult to investigate legitimate child abuse cases.