Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: January 19, 2012
Sen. Marlatt files legislation to ensure assaults
of children are reported to police
Marlatt, R-Woodward, has filed Senate Bill 1312. The measure makes
it a crime if a person witnesses the sexual assault of child but fails
to report the incident to police.
“In Oklahoma, if you witness a child being molested, you are required
to report it to the Department of Human Services,” Marlatt said.
“That simply isn’t enough. Until the perpetrator is arrested,
there’s nothing to stop him from abusing that child or seeking
out other victims. My legislation would require the person witnessing
such a crime to call the police or local sheriff.”
Studies indicate that as many as one in three girls and one in seven
boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood, although
most experts agree that the great majority of child sexual assaults
are never reported. The emotional scars from child sexual abuse can
last a lifetime.
“There have been too many stories in the media about institutions
being more interested in protecting their reputation at all costs—even
if it means turning a blind eye to something as terrible as the sexual
abuse of children,” Marlatt said. “I cannot imagine someone
failing to come to the aid of a child in such a circumstance—but
if that happens, my bill would make sure the adult who witnesses the
crime and fails to act is held accountable.”
Marlatt’s legislation will be considered when the 2012 session
convenes in February.
For more information contact:
Sen. Marlatt: (405) 521-5626