Farnese, Kevin Boyle call for tougher legislation amid Penn State allegations

    As all eyes remain on Penn State following child sex abuse charges against a former assistant football coach, Harrisburg is abuzz with legislation.

    Sen. Larry Farnese and Rep. Kevin Boyle are both pushing legislation targeting some of the issues in the PSU scandal.

    Farnese wants his amendment to the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act fast-tracked to prevent state and municipal workers who are convicted of a sex crime against a minor from collecting their public pension.

    “Almost 19,000 Penn State employees participate in state funded pension plans that could be covered under this law,” Farnese’s statement reads. “But there are no provisions that call for the same punishment if an employee commits a crime against a minor.  Senate Bill 1290 corrects that by prohibiting public employees from receiving retirement benefits if they commit crimes requiring them to register as a sex offender under Megan’s law.”

    Boyle’s legislation is aimed at the people who witness child abuse. His proposal is simple: require those who witness abuse to report it to authorities, not just an institution’s in-house hierarchy. Current law only requires that the abuse be reported to the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge.

    Former PSU assistant football coach is charged with sexually abusing boys through his charity. Coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier have been fired for failing to report their knowledge of allegations to authorities, and Athletic director Tim Curley and senior Vice President Gary Schultz are charged with failing to report suspected child abuse and perjury before a grand jury investigating Sandusky.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.