Protecting Oklahoma's Kids From Sexual Abuse - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Protecting Oklahoma's Kids From Sexual Abuse

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Weeks after the name Sandusky forever tarnished Penn State, the topic is still as hot off the press as day one.

"There's probably at least three or four people a day that come in here and talk about it," said Matt Lehman of NYC pizza, where theories drop as fast as olives on a slice when it comes to guessing why authorities weren't notified sooner.

"Man, I don't think they told police because they were trying to cover themselves, you know?" he said.

Surely, if someone saw that abuse taking place in Oklahoma, they'd be required to call the cops, right?

"You don't have to report it to law enforcement at all," said State Senator Harry Coates.

That shocking truth was discovered by the senator when he was following the Penn State scandal and wanted to see what precautions Oklahoma had in place.

"We don't have adequate protection on the books for our young people, our children in Oklahoma, against sexual predators," he said.

As it is now, you do have to report any type of abuse to DHS, but if you don't, it's just a misdemeanor. So Senator Coates is proposing to make it a law that if you witness the sexual abuse of a child, you have to call the cops. And if you don't...

"And if you don't you are going to be charged with accessory to the crime and a felony," he said.

But what about folks that are married? And say, a wife struggling with turning in her husband?

"Could be a conflict of interest between family members," pondered Lehman.

"Well, she will have to, she will have to report it, or be charged with a felony, and accessory. Now she doesn't necessarily have to testify against her husband, but she does have to report it," said Senator Coates.

A lesson learned from a disgraced coach; if adults won't do the right thing on their own, make it a law, for the sake of the kids.

"I'm hoping so man, you know I don't want to see any kind of that stuff happen to kids, you know," said Lehman.

 

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