Kentucky and Indiana laws clearer on reporting child abuse

Published: Nov. 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The former Penn State coach accused of sexually abusing children speaks exclusively to NBC News. Jerry Sandusky defended himself against the shocking charges that have rocked the Penn State community. A closer look at state laws shows statues in Indiana and Kentucky's laws are stricter and clearer than in Pennsylvania.

"I say that I am innocent of those charges," said Sandusky.

The former defensive coordinator is accused of using his charity, The Second Mile, to meet his alleged victims over 15 years.

"Sexually attracted, you know, I-- I enjoy young people," said Sandusky. "I-- I love to be around them. I-- I-- but no I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

So far assistant Penn State football coach Mike McQueary, who says he witnessed an assault, and now former head coach Joe Paterno, whom he told, have not been charged with anything, and may not be.

"I was surprised to know that pennsylvania did not have strict laws in reporting," said Dan Fox Family & Children's Place president.

Pennsylvania is not one of the 18 states that require all adults to report suspected child abuse cases.

"Indiana and Kentucky, I think they have very clear laws about the reporting of child of abuse and about whose to report."

Indiana's state statue reads: an "individual...shall make a report." The key words being an "individual," not certain people and "shall" not "may."

Kentucky's law says "any person...shall immediately cause an oral or written report" and then lists different agencies.

Failure to report carries the same penalty in both states, which is a class B misdemeanor.

Still Fox says the children are the ones who are penalized for life

"Child sexual abuse can lead to long term mental health problems, mental illness," said Fox. "It can lead to long term dependency on drugs and alcohol."

The Family & Children's Place is raising money to build a new Child Advocacy Center. They currently serves more than 1,100 children in Kentuckiana each year who have been sexually abused. The goal is to raise $1 million by the end of the year. Humana just donated half a $500,000 grant.

The new facility will be at 5th and Kentucky near downtown Louisville. Fox says he hopes the facility will be open by the end of next summer.

Sandusky remains free on bail. Neighbors asked a judge to place him in protective custody because they worry their neighborhood is unsafe with him living in it. So far, no word if the court will hear their request.

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