A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO MAKE IT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO FAIL TO REPORT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A CHILD TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, TO INCREASE THE CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR CONCEALING THE DEATH OF A CHILD, TO INCREASE THE CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR MAKING A FALSE, MISLEADING, OR UNFOUNDED REPORT TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR OFFICER FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERFERING OR OBSTRUCTING AN INVESTIGATION INVOLVING A MISSING CHILD OR CHILD VICTIM OF A CLASS A, B1, B2, OR C FELONY, AND TO MAKE IT A CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR FOR A PERSON TO FAIL TO REPORT THE ABUSE, NEGLECT, DEPENDENCY, OR DEATH DUE TO MALTREATMENT OF A JUVENILE OR TO PREVENT ANOTHER PERSON FROM MAKING SUCH REPORT.
Enactsnew GS 14-318.5in GS Chapter 14, Article 39, to do the following. Makesit a Class I felony for aparent or any other person providing care and supervision of a child to knowingly or wantonly fail to reportthe disappearance of a child to law enforcement, unless some other applicableprovision of law provides greater punishment. For the purposes of this section, defines (1)a child as any person who is less than 16 years of ageand (2) disappearance of a child to be when the parent or other person supervising a child does not know the child's location and has not had contact with the child for a 24-hour period. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person who reasonably suspects that a child has disappeared and may be in danger to fail to report those suspicions to law enforcement within a reasonable time, unless some other provision of law provides greater punishment. Provides that this section does not apply if GS 110-102.1, regarding reporting of deceased or missing children,is applicable. Exempts a teacher from reporting a child's absence from school under these provisions as long as the teacher reports the child's absence from school under GS Chapter 115C, Article 26.
Provides that the felony of failure to report the disappearance of a child as required under subsection (b) of this section is an additional offense to other civil and criminal provisions and does not repeal or preclude any other sanctions or remedies. Provides that any person who reports the disappearance of a child and is acting in good faithis immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred for that action. Provides that good faith is presumed in any proceeding involving liability.
Amends GS 14-318.4 (child abuse a felony) to provide that for purposes of this section agrossly negligent omission in providing care or supervision of a child includes the failure to report a child as missing as required in new GS 14-318.5(b).
Amends GS 110-102.1(a) to affirm that its provisions regarding operators and staff in a child care facility are not amended by proposed GS 14-318.5.
Amends GS 14-401.22, adding new subsection (a1),to make it a Class H felony for any person to fail to notify a law enforcement authority of the death of a child, or tosecretly bury or otherwise dispose of the body of a child, with the intent to conceal the death of a child. Defines a child, for purposes of this subsection, as any person less than 16 years of age. Makes additional conforming changes.
Amends GS 14-225, adding new subsection (b),to make it a Class H felony to provide false reports to law enforcement relating to a law enforcement investigation involving the disappearance of a child as that term is defined in GS 14-318.5 or a child victim of a Class A, B1, B2, or C felony offense. Defines a child for purposes of this subsection as any person less than 16 years of age. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 7B-301 to provide that an institution or a person that suspects abuse, neglect, dependency, or death due to maltreatment of a juvenile and fails to report the case of that juvenile is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Provides that a social services director who receives a report ofsexual abuse in a child care facilityand fails to notify the State Bureau of Investigation of the report is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Effective December 1, 2013, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.
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