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Post-Sandusky child protection laws won’t work, if state child abuse hotline isn’t working well

| February 26, 2015 at 07:11 am

The Issue. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case, the state Legislature passed 23 new bills aimed at improving protections for children.

Some of those laws, including one widening the list of those required to report suspected child abuse, went into effect Dec. 31. Lancaster County Children & Youth Social Service Agency has been deluged with child abuse reports in the past two months. (more…)

At Penn State, Academics Drive Effort to Hire Child-Abuse Experts

| March 11, 2013 at 08:17 am

When the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal broke, in 2011, professors at Pennsylvania State University were as shocked as anyone else. Then they did what faculty members often do: They set about formulating an academic response to the horrifying incidents, some of which had occurred on their own University Park campus.

The result is a campaign to hire over the next three years a dozen faculty members whose work focuses on child abuse and entails cutting-edge research, clinical treatment, and public education about the problem. The hiring is on a fast track: The university just opened six searches and hopes to have a half-dozen new tenured and tenure-track hires on campus by next fall. (more…)

Beaver County shows increase in child abuse in 2012

| December 12, 2012 at 07:20 am

HARRISBURG — The number of substantiated child abuse cases in Pennsylvania dropped in 2012, according to an annual report that will be released today by the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

The same cannot be said for Beaver, Lawrence, Fayette and Greene counties.

The group’s report, “State of Child Welfare,” says the number of child abuse reports that authorities found to be true increased this year in all four counties. (more…)

Panel recommends overhaul of Pennsylvania child-abuse laws

| November 28, 2012 at 07:44 am

HARRISBURG – The special panel created in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal is calling for a complete overhaul in the way Pennsylvania addresses child abuse, from expanding the list of those who must report abuse to toughening laws that it said have failed to protect children.

A report issued Monday by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recommends redefining what constitutes child abuse, expanding the definition of “perpetrator,” and enacting harsher penalties for those who fail to report abuse. (more…)

Spanier facing charges in Sandusky child abuse case at Penn State

| November 1, 2012 at 08:16 am

Penn State UniversityState Attorney General Linda Kelly is expected to announce today that former Penn State University President Graham Spanier has been charged in relation to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, according to sources close to the investigation.

The sources, who requested anonymity, said Mr. Spanier is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. (more…)

Jerry Sandusky Sentenced Up To 60 Years In Prison For Child Abuse

| October 9, 2012 at 08:39 am

Jerry SanduskyBELLEFONTE, Pa. — Former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to 30 to 60 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 young boys over a span of 15 years.

Sandusky, 68, once a celebrated figure in college sports, stood in a red jumpsuit when Judge John Cleland imposed the sentence. He had faced a maximum of four centuries behind bars without parole. (more…)

Lesson about confronting child abuse allegations

| September 25, 2012 at 07:44 am

Records coming to light as a result of litigation against Irving-based Boy Scouts of America demonstrate yet again the fundamental lesson about handling child molestation allegations: The interests of institutions can’t override the obligation to protect the most vulnerable.

Time and again, it’s been shown that when adults ignored or covered up or denied or simply failed to follow through, abusers were enabled, children got hurt and justice wasn’t served. (more…)

Penn State adds names, child abuse ribbons to football jerseys

| August 8, 2012 at 09:34 am

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Players’ names are being added to Penn State’s football jerseys for the coming season, the university announced Tuesday, along with blue ribbons to show support for victims of child abuse.

The team’s generic look – blue-and-white, no names on jerseys – has long been a trademark and was associated with the buttoned-down style of former coach Joe Paterno, who was fired last year after his former assistant Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges. (more…)

New law requiring school personnel to be trained to recognize and report child abuse is ‘milestone in protecting Pennsylvania’s children’

| July 9, 2012 at 07:53 am

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The enactment of Senate Bill 449 into law, which now requires teachers and other school personnel to be trained to recognize and report child abuse, is the culmination of nearly five years of effort by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA)–an effort that began well before the Jerry Sandusky case thrust child abuse into the national spotlight.

PFSA is a statewide nonprofit agency that annually trains more than 8,000 “mandated reporters” in how to recognize and report suspected child abuse. Mandated reporters are professionals who have regular contact with children by virtue of their jobs. (more…)

Prosecutors drop one of 52 counts against Sandusky in child sex abuse case

| June 18, 2012 at 08:39 am

Prosecutors in Jerry Sandusky’s child sex-abuse trial dropped one of the 52 counts against him Monday because the statute he was charged under did not apply at the time of the alleged illegal contact. The charge relates to an accuser identified by prosecutors as Victim 7.

During testimony, the man said the offense happened in 1995 or 1996, but the unlawful contact with a minor statute didn’t apply until 1997, prosecutors told the judge overseeing the case. Three charges related to the man are still in effect, including attempted indecent assault.