LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) – State lawmakers in Lansing are looking to strengthen and expand child abuse laws in hopes of offering better protection for potential victims.
The move is aimed at addressing gaps that were exposed after Larry Nassar admitted to sexually assaulting more than 100 female athletes over 20 years.
When it comes to Nassar the question everyone has been asking is how did he get away with it for so long.
Lawmakers want to hold enablers accountable by expanding the list of people and professions required to report child abuse and increase the punishment vor those who choose to silently ignore it.
Currently, Michigan requires doctors, nurses, teachers, police, clergy and a few others to report suspected child abuse.
The new bill in the State Senate would add college employees and youth sports coaches, trainers and even volunteers to the list.
Additional legislation would increase the punishment for not reporting, from misdemeanor with a max of 90 days in jail to a felony charge with up to 2 years behind bars.
Nassar’s victims are spearheading the intitiative, saying he could have been stopped decades ago if coaches, trainers or others at Michigan State University had listened to them.
No one has faced charges for not reporting the abuse, but multiple investigations are underway into MSU’s handling of complaints.