Gov. Cuomo to introduce bill extending sex abuse reporting to coaches

Dec 15, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced legislation that would require coaches at high schools and universities to report suspected incidents of child sexual abuse. The governor says the bill is in response to the alleged sex abuse charges against Syracuse University basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine.

Under current state laws, coaches are exempt from rules that require teachers and school health care professionals to report to police any suspected child sexual abuse. Cuomo says the legislation would close that gap.

“This is partially due to the recent episodes, obviously,” said Cuomo.

The governor says he does not at this time recommend changing the state’s statute of limitation laws. The Onondaga County DA said he could not pursue charges from two men made against assistant coach Fine, because  they said the alleged incidents had occurred back in the 1980’s. The legal limit to press charges had been passed.

Cuomo says there are reasons for the present statute of limitation laws, he says over time “memories fade” and evidence can be lost, but says he will consider the matter further and will pursue a comprehensive bill as part of his State of the State message in January.