John Burkoff on "Failure to Report" Statute in Penn State Case
Professor John Burkoff commented on the statute under which Penn State officials are charged with failing to report child abuse to police. The current version of the Pennsylvania statute requires that anyone who "comes into contact with a child" must report possible abuse; the version in effect in 2002, which would apply because that is when the crime is alleged to have taken place, said that only those who came into contact with a child in their professional capacity are obligated to report, making it harder to convict. According to Professor Burkoff, the case presents unique questions in a university setting, and he is "quite certain" that it will lead to an appeal if there is a conviction.
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