Charles Hynes, Kings County District Attorney, will soon propose a New York State law that would require religious officials such as rabbis to report allegations of abuse to civil authorities immediately after they are notified about the allegations.
Currently, many religious leaders keep allegations of sexual abuse to themselves while attempting to do justice within their own community. Twenty six states already have similar laws requiring religious leaders to immediately report allegations of sexual abuse to the authorities.
New York has tried several times during the last ten years to pass similar legislation but has faced backlash each time from several religious organizations. These religious organizations had previously opposed the law because the proposed language required previous allegations to be reported as well as current and future ones.
The new law that Hynes hopes to soon propose is unlikely to require the religious leaders to report prior allegations. Hynes believes he can gain the support of religious officials now with his modified legislation. Let us hope he is right.