The recent sexual abuse scandal that shook the foundation of Penn State University has served as a catalyst for unprecedented reform. Several high-ranking officials, including California assemblymen Ricardo Lara, have called for legislation that specifically targets institutions that foster or further child sexual abuse. According to proponents of the idea, current regulations are unable to confront the growing epidemic of sexual predators.
If passed, Lara’s bill would strip nonprofits of their tax-exempt status in California if they are caught concealing, fostering or failing to report such abuse. Subsequently, the bill also suggests a significant increase in the reporting requirements of such adverse events.
“The deliberate cover-up of the monstrous crimes against children at Penn State demands an immediate review of California’s sexual abuse reporting requirements,” explains Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, who is introducing the aforementioned bill. According to Lara “the call for action to deter nonprofits from covering-up, fostering, or failing to report abuse is clear. Nonprofit organizations at all levels–universities, faith-based or after-school programs–should be held accountable for their actions.”
Lara acknowledges that the recent cases, involving Penn State and the Boy Scouts of America, served as the catalysts for his new bill. A lack of litigation has allowed for independent organizations to harbor the actions of sexual predators without punishment. Our trust in such organizations has caused society to turn a blind eye to their distinct lack of involvement in such crimes.
“While one would assume that nonprofit organizations, especially those that work with children, have our children’s best interest at heart, experience has taught us that this is not always the case,” Lara says. “Time and time again, we have heard of reports of nonprofits that conceal and/or foster sexual abuse. To prevent further lives from being damaged and to deter nonprofits from concealing reports, legislation is needed to clarify and improve current sexual abuse reporting requirements.”
Martha Escutia, a proponent and front runner for such bills, maintains that it is imperative for State Legislatures and the U.S. Congress to institute new laws pertaining to the prosecution of institutions that have allegedly harbored the abuse of children, concealed the abuse of children, or failed to report knowledge of child abuse or neglect to law enforcement authorities. Relieving them of their tax-exempt status may prove to be a significant step towards the eradication of fostering such heinous actions.
Do I Have a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in sexual abuse lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.