MI and FL: Random Dispositions for Failing to Report Child Abuse

In Mississippi:

Stepfather is convicted of allegedly abusing two year old Mississippi Baby, including biting him, and is sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Baby received medical treatment after the abuse, thanks only to Grandmother’s intervention – over Baby’s Mother’s objections.

Mother was concerned that Stepfather, her husband, would “get into trouble” for abusing Baby.

Mother pled guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact to child abuse, for failing to report Stepfather.

For her admitted crime, Mother is sentenced to one year of “house arrest” and four years of supervision by the Department of Corrections.

There is no indication that Baby was removed from Mother’s care for her failure to protect Baby.

In Florida:

Teenager is charged with sexual battery allegedly perpetrated on five year old Victim at a religously affiliated Florida daycare center. The Victim’s older brother was reportedly a witness to the molestation.

Adult Employee left Teenager and Victim alone together.

Employee is arrested for failing to report child abuse. Teenager and Victim’s brother both claimed to have told Employee about the sexual assault. But Employee denies knowledge of the assault.

Under Florida law, one is required to report child abuse by “a parent, legal custodian, caregiver or other person responsible for a child’s welfare“.

The prosecution ultimately drops the charges against Employee, because Teenager does not fall under the category of abusers that the statute is aimed at. Therefore, Employee is not legally required to report the abuse.

There is no indication that Employee is barred from working in child care.

So much for crimes arising out of failure to report child abuse ….

Read more in this Columbus [MI] Commercial Dispatch article: Mom sentenced for inaction after child’s abuse and in this Lakeland [FL] Ledger article: Caregiver Won’t Face Charges In Sex-Abuse Case.