Congressman COOK Votes to Protect Young Athletes
from SEXUAL ABUSE
D.C.____ U.S. Representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) Monday, January 29,
2018 voted for S. 534, the Protecting
Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2018. The bill passed the House with
overwhelming bipartisan support.
S. 534 extends the mandatory
reporting requirements of Child Abuse
to national governing bodies, like USA gymnastics, and affiliated amateur
sports organizations, to ensure that reports are made immediately to local or
federal law enforcement authorities. The bill also allows civil suits by minors
against Sex Abuse perpetrators to be
brought by clarifying that once a victim has established a harm occurred, the
court will presume $150,000 in monetary damages. The bill also extends the
civil statute of limitations for these cases.
to one report, over the past 20 years, at least 368 victims, many of whom were
young athletes, were subjected to Sexual
Abuse by coaches, doctors or other adults affiliated with USA Gymnastics.
Although USA Gymnastics received reports of abuse, victims claimed that USA
Gymnastics allowed the abuse allegations, including complaints made against
coaches who trained and abused young athletes in multiple states, to remain
dormant. Just last week, Dr. Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison
for sexually assaulting numerous amateur gymnasts for over 15 years. His
accusers number over 160.
534 requires national governing bodies, like USA gymnastics,
to report to law enforcement agencies on such criminal activity.
Paul Cook said, “Every child deserves to have a safe
childhood. Too often, loopholes in the law allow child predators to avoid detection.
This common-sense legislation will help protect children from abuse and punish
those who seek to harm them.”