New Illinois law requires coaches, university staff to report abuse
June 27, 2012 11:24AM
Updated: August 2, 2012 6:17AM
A new state law signed Wednesday by Gov. Pat Quinn is intended to protect young people and to prevent a sex abuse scandal in Illinois similar to what occurred at Penn State University.
The law, effective immediately, requires coaches and university employees to report to authorities cases of child and sexual abuse.
“Young people place their trust in coaches and university officials, and it is their responsibility to report any suspected abuse,” Quinn said.
House Bill 3887, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), requires athletic personnel, university employees and early intervention providers to report suspected abuse.
The legislation was introduced after media reports of widespread child sex abuse cases involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Federal investigators are looking into claims the university covered up the scandal. A jury convicted Sandusky on 45 child sex abuse counts.
“It was clear following the events that unfolded at Penn State that we needed to tighten up our reporting laws in Illinois to make sure nothing like that could happen here,” Kay said. “The last thing anyone would have wanted to see would be for abuses to go unreported because of a loophole in the law. I’m extremely glad we were able to get this legislation passed and close those loopholes in such a timely manner.”