In wake of Sandusky scandal, questions about laws

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for the first day of jury selection as his trial on 52 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years gets underway at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for the first day of jury selection as his trial on 52 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years gets underway at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- When the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State erupted last year, public anger was not only directed toward Jerry Sandusky, whose trial begins Monday.

There also was anger toward the people around Sandusky who didn't report their suspicions to police.

In the months that followed, that anger led many states to re-examine and expand their so-called mandatory reporting laws that require people to report suspected abuse or face civil and criminal penalties.

Some state laws apply to professionals like doctors and teachers, while others apply universally to all adults.

Child advocates and academics are divided about whether increasing the number of mandatory reporters will help kids or just overwhelm child welfare workers with unsubstantiated complaints.


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