In light of the recent child sexual abuse allegations against former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) issued the following statement regarding the Speak Out to Stop Child Abuse Act, a bi-partisan bill she recently introduced to impose a criminal penalty on any adult who fails to report witnessing child sexual abuse to a law enforcement official or their state's child protective service agency.
"The latest high-profile case involving a suspected witness failing to report child sexual abuse at Syracuse University represents the type of individual the Speak Out to Stop Child Abuse Act would prosecute in order to prevent further harm of a child or other children," said Rep. Bass. "It is inconceivable that the wife of former Syracuse University coach Bernie Fine would allegedly not report the years of abuse that the victim, Bobby Davis, endured and furthermore physically stop the abuse after witnessing it firsthand. As we've witnessed from the several cases of abuse in the media over the last few weeks, failing to report child sexual abuse is not a new crisis and will continue to happen if we don't act now. The SOS Child Abuse Act will remind us of our responsibility to act when a child is being harmed and prosecute individuals who fail to protect one of our nation's most treasured assets, our children."