SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A Southland lawmaker unveiled proposed legislation on Wednesday that would protect kids at California colleges from sexually abusive coaches.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports the move comes in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University that stunned the nation.

State Senator Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) said his bill also calls for tougher penalties for “mandated reporters” who fail to alert authorities to any sexual abuse.

Currently, coaches statewide are only required to report any incidents to superiors — similar to the situation at Penn State under coach Joe Paterno.

He said current state law lists a number of occupations on college and university campuses in which employees are required to report molestations to law enforcement, but coaches are not among them.

“The person who saw it, nothing’s going to happen to that person other than potentially lose his job if he hasn’t lost it yet,” said Vargas. “Those people should be going to jail too.”

His bill would double the possible jail sentence and increase fines for people who are required to report instances of child abuse to law enforcement but fail to do so.

Vargas will introduce the legislation in Sacramento in January.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
  1. Caroline says:

    The victims weren’t adults, they were minors who were at colleges under other programs (Penn State Coach’s charity). When it comes to minors, they should be protected and everyone should have to report it….regardless of being on a college campus or not. I don’t see how increasing penalties will help if they do not specify involvement of minors. I haven’t heard of 18 year olds or older are being victimized on college campuses.

  2. Mike says:

    Forget college coaches. Focus on youth league and high school coaches.

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