|Posted:||January 4, 2017 01:42 PM|
|From:||Representative Joanna E. McClinton and Rep. Tina M. Davis|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Information Sharing to Protect Child Victims of Sexual Abuse|
|In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation to provide a mechanism by which County Children and Youth (C&Y) agencies and the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will be provided information regarding convicted sexual offenders in an efficient and timely manner. This mechanism is necessary to insure victims of child abuse are not unnecessarily traumatized by having to testify in administrative hearings after guilt of the offender has been established in a criminal trial.
We recently became aware a registered sex offender was challenging the inclusion and classification of his abuse on the registry maintained under the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), 23 Pa.C.S. 6301 et seq. The victims of the offense may have been required to testify in such proceedings. Even the possibility of having to do so may cause them additional, and unnecessary, emotional trauma.
The CPSL now specifically provides that evidence of convictions can be, by themselves, sufficient to meet the burden of showing child abuse. In that way, a child who has already been victimized need not undergo additional questioning in child abuse hearings regarding an incident for which a criminal conviction has already occurred. However, to insure those children are protected, appropriate agencies must be aware that a criminal conviction has occurred.
This legislation simply requires the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to promptly provide information electronically regarding persons subject to notice and registration requirements for sexual offenders under Subchapter H of, Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to appropriate agencies regarding the status of those offenders. It insures that C&Y agencies and DPW receive actual notice regarding the status of such offenders, allowing them to spare the victim from once again testifying about the abuse.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.