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House Bill No. 6342

Public Act No. 13-297

AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 53-21 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) Any person who (1) wilfully or unlawfully causes or permits any child under the age of sixteen years to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of such child is endangered, the health of such child is likely to be injured or the morals of such child are likely to be impaired, or does any act likely to impair the health or morals of any such child, or (2) has contact with the intimate parts, as defined in section 53a-65, of a child under the age of sixteen years or subjects a child under sixteen years of age to contact with the intimate parts of such person, in a sexual and indecent manner likely to impair the health or morals of such child, or (3) permanently transfers the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of sixteen years to another person for money or other valuable consideration or acquires or receives the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of sixteen years from another person upon payment of money or other valuable consideration to such other person or a third person, except in connection with an adoption proceeding that complies with the provisions of chapter 803, or (4) intentionally and unreasonably interferes with or prevents the making of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect required under section 17a-101a, as amended by this act, shall be guilty of (A) a class D felony for a violation of subdivision (4) of this subsection, (B) a class C felony for a violation of subdivision (1) or (3) of this subsection, and (C) a class B felony for a violation of subdivision (2) of this subsection, except that, if the violation is of subdivision (2) of this subsection and the victim of the offense is under thirteen years of age, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which five years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court.

(b) The act of a parent or agent leaving an infant thirty days or younger with a designated employee pursuant to section 17a-58 shall not constitute a violation of this section.

Sec. 2. Section 17a-101a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) Any mandated reporter, as defined in section 17a-101, who in the ordinary course of such person's employment or profession has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen years (1) has been abused or neglected, as defined in section 46b-120, as amended by this act, (2) has had nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of such injury, inflicted upon such child, or (3) is placed at imminent risk of serious harm, shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of sections 17a-101b to 17a-101d, inclusive.

(b) Any person required to report under the provisions of this section who fails to make such report or fails to make such report within the time period prescribed in sections 17a-101b to 17a-101d, inclusive, and section 17a-103 shall be [fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than two thousand five hundred dollars] guilty of a class A misdemeanor and shall be required to participate in an educational and training program. The program may be provided by one or more private organizations approved by the commissioner, provided the entire cost of the program shall be paid from fees charged to the participants, the amount of which shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner.

(c) The Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, shall promptly notify the Chief State's Attorney when there is reason to believe that any such person has failed to make a report in accordance with this section.

Approved July 12, 2013