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Sheldon’s Law introduced to require clergy become mandated reporters

A Jefferson County family watches its push for a new law regarding the reporting of child abuse take another step forward.

That came Wednesday as Kansas 3rd District Democratic Senator Tom Holland formerly introduced legislation which would place clergy on the list of those required to report suspected child abuse, and neglect, to authorities.

The legislation is known as “Sheldon’s Law,” named in honor of Ozawkie resident Lori Cook’s son.

Cook told MSC News her son, at 10-years-old, in 2017, suffered sexual abuse by older teens who were members of her Lawrence church.

Church leaders took no action, and pushed for the Cook’s to not involve law enforcement, Cook began working towards the goal of requiring clergy to report such crimes.

Twenty-eight other states have similar laws on the books, and Cook told MSC News her goal, following the passage of Sheldon’s Law, is to see all 50 states do the same.

Holland’s announcement of “Sheldon’s Law” being introduced as Kansas Senate Bill 37, came during a Wednesday press conference in Topeka, with the Cook family in attendance.

MSC News Brian Hagen contributed this report.


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