KY Examines Abuse Reporting Laws

Unlike Pennsylvania, where coaches, doctors and other professionals only have to report suspected child abuse to a supervisor, Kentucky law requires anyone suspecting abuse to report it to police, prosecutors or Child Protective Services.

Kentucky Youth Advocates director Terry Brooks told The Courier-Journal that means that if what happened at Penn State had happened at University of Louisville, there would have been a lot of people who broke the law (

Kentucky is one of 18 states requiring everyone – not just professionals who work with children – to report suspected abuse or neglect.

Violations are a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.

However, prosecutions for failure to report are rare. Fifty-seven people have been charged with that offense since 2006.