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Beach Bill to Increase Consequence of Failure to Report Sexual Abuse of Children Advances

Beach Session

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Christopher Bateman that would require that sexual abuse of a child be reported to the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) cleared the Senate today.

“One of the most heinous crimes, sexual abuse of a child, often goes undetected due to the nature of the crime,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “This bill will help ensure that when someone suspects that a child is a victim of sexual abuse it will be immediately reported and investigated.”

The bill, S-641, would require that when someone has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been sexually abused, they immediately report that abuse to DCPP. Failure to report would be a fourth degree crime, carrying up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Under current law, failure to report is considered a disorderly person’s offense. The offense carries up to 6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

This bill cleared the Senate today by a vote of 36-0.