ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Two bills stemming from recent cases of child abuse in Maryland are making their way through the state legislature, which would hold mandatory reporters — those who have to report suspected child abuse by law — accountable when it comes to preserving and protecting children.
The first bill, more than a decade in the making, would assign a $1,000 fine and six months in prison for professionals such as teachers and social workers who have actual knowledge of child neglect or abuse and fail to report it.
Testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks reminded delegates about the case of convicted child predator Deonte Carraway, who is serving more than 100 years in prison for the abuse of 23 children both on and off school grounds when he worked as a teacher’s aide and volunteer.
Court documents said multiple educators, including the principal, knew of Carraway’s inappropriate and familiar behavior with the children, as well as the potential for abuse, and did not report it.
“In the Carraway case, it would have given us penalties if we would have discovered that someone in that line knew about the abuse and allowed it to continue without calling. In that case, we would have had at least the penalties associated with the law to hold people accountable,” Alsobrooks said.