Michigan is seeking a law that requires people to report suspected child sexual abuse to authorities. The decision will be taken on the back drop of several gaps which were exposed during Larry Nassar case. Nassar was a former sports doctor had recently admitted to sexually assaulting female athletes.
Nassar's victims are spearheading the initiative, saying he could have been stopped decades ago if coaches, athletic trainers or others at Michigan State University had listened to them. More than 250 women and girls have said the now-imprisoned Nassar molested them with his ungloved hands under the guise of medical treatment.
No one has faced charges yet for not reporting the abuse, but multiple investigations are underway into Michigan State's handling of complaints.
Additional legislation would increase potential punishments. Paid professionals who willfully do not report suspected abuse or neglect could face a felony charge and up to two years in prison, up from what is now a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum 93 days in jail.
Like all other states, Michigan requires health providers, psychologists, teachers, police, clergy and others to report suspected child abuse or neglect to authorities. A bill up for approval by the state Senate would add college employees and youth sports coaches, trainers and volunteers.