From: Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Subject: Response from Senator Casey
Dear Dr. Glaser:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the Jerry Sandusky scandal. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.
Like you, I am deeply distressed by the numerous incidents of child abuse committed by Pennsylvania State University football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and saddened by the harm done to his victims. We must work together to heal our community, ensure that the victims receive the help that they need, and ensure that no more children are abused.
Protecting children and their families is one of my top priorities as a United States Senator. I have been a strong advocate for the safety of our children since my days in state government when, as Auditor General, I successfully urged Pennsylvania to adopt a stronger version of Meganís Law, requiring the registration of sex offenders.
Although I cannot intervene in the court cases related to Mr. Sanduskyís prosecution, since they fall under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Attorney Generalís office, there are several steps I have taken at the federal level in response to allegations of child abuse at Pennsylvania State University, which came to light in November 2011. At my request, in December 2011 the Subcommittee on Children and Families on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing to assess how well federal laws, such as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), are protecting children and what provisions are in place to ensure appropriate reporting of suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. The testimony we received from our exp ert witnesses will help guide our discussion as we move forward to address this issue.
Additionally, in November 2011, I introduced S. 1877, the Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act (the Speak Up Act), which would have required that all states adopt laws to ensure that adults and communities understand their responsibilities to protect children by reporting incidents of known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate government authorities. My legislation also included support for education and training initiatives to inform individuals about what constitutes child abuse and neglect and to promote greater responsibility.
Former FBI director Louis Freeh completed his independent investigation of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and produced a report on the situation. Some individuals have expressed dissenting views on the conclusions reached in Mr. Freehís report. Please be assured that I am following this situation closely, and will keep your views in mind.
During my time in the Senate, I have introduced and supported several important pieces of legislation to protect children from harm. I introduced the Recovering Missing Children Act, S. 246, which would allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to disclose tax return information on a limited basis to law enforcement officials investigating cases of missing children. I have also supported funding for Children's Advocacy Center programs authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, and I have consistently supported full funding for the Victims of Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act, both of which provide funding for multiple services and treatment for child victims of crime.
With my support, in 2010 CAPTA was passed out of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, of which I am a member, and reauthorized by Congress; President Obama signed it into law on December 20, 2010. Among other things, this updated version of CAPTA allows government agencies to collaborate with private organizations to provide children with the appropriate treatments after being mistreated.
In 2012, I also sent a letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking HHS to conduct a study in states across the U.S. on the requirements for mandated reporting of child abuse and training for mandated reporters.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like to respond to this message, please use the contact form on my website: http://casey.senate.gov/contact/