Sunday, June 10, 2012

(ALL) Adults who fail to report it could face up to five years in prison or a $10,000 fine if convicted.

"So we decided to amend the law and create this new provision that said, 'Listen, if you see a kid being sexually abused, you have an absolute, ironclad responsibility to report that to the legal authorities immediately,'" he said.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A sexual abuse scandal that rocked Penn State University has resulted in new laws in Louisiana to penalize those who fail to report allegations of child sex abuse and protect those who do.

Three of the bills have been signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Republican governor said he intends to sign the fourth.

One measure protects whistleblowers who report child sex abuse from employer retaliation, while two others penalize those who fail to report to law enforcement. A fourth adds certain classes of athletics coaches to the list of individuals required to notify authorities if they suspect child sex abuse.

Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, sponsor of two of the bills, said they would close an unintended loophole in Louisiana law that that didn't make it mandatory for all people to report child abuse if they see it.

"The concern I had was, after the Penn State scandal, there was a lot of allegations regarding individuals who may have had knowledge of the sexual abuse but never disclosed it," Morrell said.

Morrell said many of the employees who might have seen sexual abuse were afraid to report it for fear of losing their jobs, and one of his bills protects whistleblowers from being fired, suspended or demoted when they report allegations.

Last November, the sex abuse scandal involving football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky exploded at Penn State after he was initially charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.

Among the allegations was a 2002 incident in which then-graduate student Mike McQueary claims he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a naked boy in a locker room shower. McQueary said he reported the incident to Sandusky's former boss, head football coach Joe Paterno, who then told the university's athletic director.

Pennsylvania's attorney general said despite state law, it was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agencies. Sandusky now faces 52 criminal counts. He has denied the allegations.

Under previous Louisiana law, child care providers, members of the clergy, mental health workers, elementary and secondary school teachers and others listed in the state children's code were required to report any abuse or neglect they encounter. But Morrell said if you're an average citizen and discover child abuse, the law did not force you to report it.

"So we decided to amend the law and create this new provision that said, 'Listen, if you see a kid being sexually abused, you have an absolute, ironclad responsibility to report that to the legal authorities immediately,'" he said.

Adults who fail to report it could face up to five years in prison or a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Judy Benitez, executive director of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, said she understands why lawmakers would want to respond to the Penn State scandal, but the issue is really about morals. Often, she said, when people witness child sex abuse, they perpetrator will be a family member, boss or partner.

"People fail to realize how overwhelming such a realization can be, besides the fact it's shocking to walk in on something like that. I think really what a lot of what's going on to change has already happened in terms of people discussing it," she said.

Her organization cites statistics from a 2000 national report by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that says juveniles make up 71 percent of all sex crime victims. Benitez also says it's very hard to aggregate statistics on sexual assault because many victims don't report it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study in 2006 on childhood maltreatment and found that adverse childhood experiences were common; 20 percent of participants reported that they had been sexually abused as a child.

Additionally, the Obama administration updated the FBI's decades-old definition of rape in January to include men and children. Benitez says broadening the FBI's previously narrow definition will change the numbers dramatically.

Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, who sponsored the measure mandating that coaches report any signs of sexual abuse, said he found the facts surrounding the Pennsylvania case so offensive that he had to come up with a way to strengthen laws that protect children.

"That's where this piece of legislation really came from, it was a reaction to that and the desire to make sure that our laws were strong enough to protect our young people," he said. "I'm glad to see that coaches across the state are going to now understand that when they witness abuse, they need to report it."

Online: House Bills 166 and 577 and Senate Bills 4 and 158 can be found at http://www.legis.la.gov/



bulvan & friends said...

Any news on Margo post the car accident?

In case he is deemed to be at fault, he could get end up getting billed. There was a Bocharian putz who caused an accident once at Ave F near the Alesker beis medrash. The cops noted in the report on damage to a private fence and ConEd property. He even got a bill from the City for breaking the curb. I don't know what the NY Times is charging if someone smashes up a newspaper box.

5 Towns said...

Michael Fragin is a frum guy who is a Village of Lawrence trustee and holds other political posts in Nassau County.

Lew Fidler is a lowlife who the Agudah fresser askonim in Flatbush supported in the last election.


Former mayor Ed Koch told me he thought Hynes "made a terrible error here."

"This community does not deserve to have any preferential treatment" and "he should treat them exactly as he would anyone else," he said.

Koch, who is Jewish, said Hynes should prosecute the rabbis who interfered with victims reporting accusations of abuse.

"We're all equal under the law and they have to subscribe to the law without getting preferential treatment," Koch said. "It's just dead wrong. And there's no explanation to make it right in any way."

Michael Fragin, an Orthodox Jew and Republican political operative, said amending legal strategies to accommodate religious leaders puts people in jeopardy.

"I think that's inappropriate," he said of Hynes' reported strategy. "I think we should expect one standard when it comes to legal issues. If someone commits a crime against me, I don't want them held to a lesser standard. And as a parent of six, I want my kids to be safe. Safety, for any parent, is the most important thing."

Michael Lesher, an Orthodox Jewish attorney who represents abuse victims, says that not publicizing the names of the Orthodox Jews accused and convicted of sex crimes has "done much more to obscure crimes in the Orthodox community than to fight them," as he wrote last month.

Lew Fidler, a Democratic councilman from Brooklyn who, years ago, ran two of Hynes' political campaigns, defended the D.A.'s response to the times.

"It makes sense to me," Fidler said. "One size does not fit all. It makes sense to me intuitively that sometimes the full frontal assault is not what gets you the most [results]."

He said these communities are heavily controlled by rabbis whose dictates carry more weight than police, school and elected officials.

Fidler said Lesher, in calling for the names of sexual abusers to be made public, doesn't appreciate the dynamics of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

"I wish Lesser was right that in any community, people would never sweep something like this, hush hush, under the rug," Fidler told me. "And obviously there's a big push-pull in the Orthodox community on this that I don't see eye-to-eye with. But I think Joe Hynes has to live in the real world and he has to live in the world that they're in."

Fidler knows firsthand how influential rabbis in this area can be.

He was heavily favored to win a special election for a State Senate seat covering Borough Park, but found himself repeatedly attacked for, among other things, once having described himself as a "bacon-and-eggs kind of Jew."

Anonymous said...

There was a very interesting article in yesterday's NY Times that shows just how far the government can go to cover things up. Shabbos marked the 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz jail break of the Anglin brothers & one other inmate. It seems that branches of the government at the time were so embarrassed by the escape that they lied to make the public believe the criminals drowned in San Francisco Bay.

The US Marshall's Service recently reopened the case based on the following:

A former inmate told national media that Anglin's girlfriend drove them to Mexico.

Footprints were found leading from the shore despite official denials.

A car was stolen that night in the vicinity despite official denials.

Scientific research funded by a television network concluded that a crude raft made of raincoats could have survived the riptides & currents in the Bay.

They still may never be apprehended however because UOJ usually focuses on molesters instead of bank robbers. LOL.

Brisker said...

Boruch Dayan Emess

R' Chaim Breisch, rosh yeshiva of the London mesivta and shvogger of R' A.J. Soloveitchik went to the seashore in Kent, England, for refuah purposes last Monday. He was overcome by a rogue wave and killed. One of his talmidim almost drowned himself trying to rescue him. He was first interrogated by British Bobby police who were suspicious of him before releasing him to be hospitalized.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

They still may never be apprehended however because UOJ usually focuses on molesters instead of bank robbers.


I'll get up tomorrow morning at 4:15 AM - 15 minutes earlier than usual, I'll have them in FBI custody by 4:30 A.M. :-))

Red Alert! said...

Steve Mostofsky, a lawyer who served as president of National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) for 11 years, has announced his candidacy for Civil Court. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Mostofsky has worked in the New York State court system and has a family law practice in the borough.

“Public service has defined my life,” says Mostofsky, a 54-year-old father and grandfather who was raised in East Flatbush and Canarsie and currently lives in Midwood. “For many years it has been my dream to serve as a judge combining my love for justice and the law, while serving the people of Brooklyn.”

Outside his law practice, Mostofsky regularly counsels families struggling with issues that affect their daily lives. He has lectured about domestic violence to assistant district attorneys and health-care professionals and taught Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses. His articles about Jewish law’s convergence with secular law, teen alcoholism and other legal and general interest have appeared in many publications. Mostofsky was profiled last year in both The New York Law Journal and Daily News about his wide-ranging legal, scholarly and community-based interests. He is a recognized expert in get law who has spoken on the subject at court proceedings.


Stop this pro-molester advocate from getting elected!

Willie Sutton said...


Wait until Pesach and you will probably find the Anglins fressing in a heimishe hotel in Cancun. Nobody in Mexico ever saw so much food in their life.

Anonymous said...

Mostofsky is a tyrant who still runs the national Young Israel like a dictator despite the public show of "stepping down".

If Pelcovitz had any balls he would have outed that molester-loving shmuck to the newspapers during the Jamaica kidnap & torture scandal with Mostofsky's clients Michael Hersh & Chaim Berlin.

Anonymous said...

Does that mean I Have to Report Gavriel Finkels son Avi Finkel who fixes computers here in Lakewood for secluding himself with Married woman and engaging in Inapropiate Behaviour or Does the fact that His Father Gavriel Finkel heads a very unpopular Bais Din here in Lakewood Vaad Hadayonim and the Fact That Gavriel Finkel Is R Malkiel Kotlers Uncle give him special protection

Dov Hikind caves in to Agudah fressers said...


Markey’s bill isn’t the only proposed legislation dealing with the statute of limitations in the assembly this session. Dov Hikind, a Democratic assemblyman who represents the ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood of Boro Park, has presented a rival bill that has many of the same components — but there’s one major difference: Hikind’s bill would extend the statute of limitations for victims to file suit against alleged sex abusers, but not against the schools and religious institutions that have, in some cases, protected them.
“The concern is about institutions,” Hikind said. “Yeshivas are hardly surviving financially. You would put them out of business.”
But Hamilton disagrees. In states that have extended the statute of limitations — such as California, Delaware, and Minnesota — institutions sued for protecting sex abusers don’t go bankrupt, she said, but rather pay out victims through their insurance or by liquidating old buildings and empty lots. If sex abuse victims were only able to sue individuals, she added, their restitution would be limited to their perpetrator’s sometimes meager assets.
Hikind’s legislative liaison, Holly Charlesworth, responded that suits are “about the justice” of the victims’ cases more than the money.
Hikind, who has positioned himself as an advocate for sex abuse victims in the Orthodox community, is listed as a co-sponsor on the Markey bill. But he said that he would not endorse the bill if it came to a vote in the assembly.
“I don’t think the Markey bill is going to go anywhere,” he said.
Hikind said that his bill —which he characterized as a politically palatable alternative to Markey’s — was drafted with the input of Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox umbrella group that has declared that observant Jews must get the permission of a rabbi in order to report sex crimes to secular authorities. Agudath executive vice president David Zwiebel could not be reached for comment before deadline. But in a 2009 interview he conducted with the Orthodox magazine Mishpacha, Zwiebel said that he supported a bill that targeted individuals, not institutions.
“We have no objection to expanding the statute of limitations, or even instituting a window of suspension of the statute of limitations, regarding bringing action against abusers,” Zwiebel said in the interview. “Our only objection is including institutions.”
Hamilton said that Hikind’s proposal would do little to help victims of sex abuse. “The problem is that the bill is still protecting the organizations and the powerful men in those organizations that are creating a lot of the problems,” she said. “So long as the legislators continue to defer to the men in power that are covering up the abuse of children, we are going to have serious problems.”

R. Wisler said...

God, that song "Ra-chem", or whatever it's called, is crap.