Wednesday, 19 February 2020
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MSC Special Report: Proposed legislation requires mandatory reporting by clergy

(MSC News)--An Ozawkie mother says her 10-year-old son was sexually assaulted, and the failure to report the crime by leaders of her Lawrence church have allowed the perpetrators to go free, denying her son the opportunity to begin the healing process.

Now Lori Cook says she’s working with Kansas 3rd District Senator Tom Holland who she says is sponsoring legislation on behalf of her family’s struggles.

Cook, in an interview with MSC Radio News Director Brian Hagen said the key goal for the legislation, known as Sheldon’s Law, named for her son, is to require mandatory reporting of abuse crimes by clergy in the state.

Saying that other states have such a law in place, Cook said it’s her goal to see that such reporting be mandatory across the nation.

Cook planned to be in Topeka Monday, working with Holland, and offering testimony on the bill during the first day of the legislative session.

The family has also launched an online petition related to the legislation.

In October of last year, the church issued a statement to KCTV5 regarding the Cook’s allegations.

Eagle Rock Church adheres to ‘A Kansas Guide to Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect’ compiled by the Kansas Department for Children and Families. ERC leadership does and will always report any form of child abuse. Eagle Rock Church believes firmly that every child be given a voice.When an allegation of abuse by a minor child toward another minor child was brought to the attention of the leadership at Eagle Rock Church (ERC), they followed protocol, and gave immediate attention to the situation. ERC gave their full support to all families affected by the allegations brought forth and formulated a plan of action beginning early the next morning. In less than 24 hours, before interviews of all minor children could be conducted and a meeting could be held, the reporting family took the matter to the civil authorities. ERC had compiled the written plan of action and offered support & counseling of all parties and their families involved. However, these offers were rejected by the reporting family. Eagle Rock Church cooperated 100% with the civil authorities and interviewed with a detective from Douglas County Sherriff department. All families were again given an opportunity to receive extensive counseling on sexual exploration including a section specifically for same sex minor children, but the reporting family refused.

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