Bill requiring coaches to report suspected child sex abuse signed into law

Bill authored in light of Penn State scandal

SAN DIEGO -  

Bills by San Diego legislators to make athletic coaches and computer technicians mandated reporters of child sex abuse were signed into law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, authored the bill requiring coaches at colleges and universities in California to report incidents of child sex abuse to police in the wake of revelations regarding the Penn State football program and now-deceased coach Joe Paterno. The requirement will apply to both public and private institutions.

Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was imprisoned for molesting at least 10 boys connected to his charity, and university administrators were also charged in the case.

The scandal that broke last fall cost Paterno his job. He died of lung cancer earlier this year at the age of 85.

A number of professionals are so-called "mandated reporters," including teachers, doctors and nurses. Failure to report such abuse could result in six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, penned the legislation adding computer technicians to the list. They sometimes spot child pornography stored on hard drives while making repairs.

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