Legislation Planned to Strengthen Child-Abuse Reporting
Rep. Chip Limehouse of Charleston said that athletic coaches, assistant coaches, athletic trainers, athletic directors and camp counselors should have been on the list of people required to report child abuse.
Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston, is drafting legislation that will add camp counselors, athletic coaches, assistant athletic coaches, athletic trainers and athletic directors to the list of people who are required by state law to report child abuse immediately when they learn of it.
In light of the investigation launched at The Citadel this week and sex crime allegations rocking Penn State University involving high-profile athletic personnel Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky, Limehouse said it is important that South Carolina broaden the scope of the current law.
Limehouse said these folks should have already been on the list of people who are required by state law to report abuse when they see it or hear of it. And, he said he thinks at some point, it should just become mandatory that everyone is a reporter of these "egregious" crimes against children.
Limehouse said he can pre-file the bill in December, but no action would be taken until January when the legislative delegation reconvenes.
"Call your state representative and ask them to support strengthening the laws that protect our children," Limehouse said. "We have to hold people accountable."
According to Pennsylvania's law, child sex abuse survivors must file civil suits before they turn 30. The law enacted in August 2002 doesn't extend the statute to survivors who were already 20 at the time, meaning some of Sandusky's victims may never be able to file suits against him.