Local Legislator Renews Call For Expanded Responsibility Bill To Fight Abuse
By Brad Segall
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The recent arrest in Montgomery County of a camp director for failing to report an alleged sexual assault involving a camper has a local state representative again calling for quick passage of his bill to better protect children.
Pa. House Bill 436 expands the list of those mandated to report child abuse. It’s sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montco), who says the recent arrest of Ryan Wexelblatt, the director at Camp Sequoia in Upper Perkiomen, Pa. (see related story), illustrates the need for this measure to become law before more kids are harmed.
“Instead of just one person at the top of the chain of command being required (to report abuse), all those in the chain of command — the employees and any subcontractors that may be involved in caring for children — would be equally responsible,” Stephens tells KYW Newsradio, “and therefore the likelihood of a report is much greater.”
Prosecutors say counselors at the camp notified Wexelblatt about the attack but he failed to call police. An anonymous tip triggered the investigation.
Stephens’ bill has already passed the House and is now awaiting action in a Senate committee.