WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the wake of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, Senator Bob Casey called for a hearing on Tuesday to look at federal laws protecting children from sexual abuse and how these crimes are reported.
"The tragic events reported from Penn State have been a shock to the nation's conscience. It is clear we need to examine the federal laws that are designed to protect children from this type of heinous abuse," Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said in a statement.
Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions, was arrested more than a week ago on charges he sexually abused eight young boys over nearly a 15-year period.
"The serious nature of these allegations and the evidence on the public record of failure to report by individuals at Penn State warrants an immediate review of the relationship between federal and state reporting requirements on child abuse and neglect under CAPTA (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act)," Casey said.
According to Casey's letter, only 18 states require adults to report suspected child abuse and Pennsylvania is not one of them.
Last week the U.S. Department of Education launched a separate investigation of whether Penn State followed on disclosure of campus crime statistics.
In a telephone interview with NBC sportscaster Bob Costas on Monday, Sandusky said he was "horsing around," and also said he showered with children from The Second Mile charity he founded. But he denied he was a pedophile.
(Reporting and writing by Karin Matz; Editing by Greg McCune)