WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The House passed legislation to protect athletes from sexual abuse just days after former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting more than 150 women and girls over 25 years.
Several gymnasts joined U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California, to announce the new measure Tuesday morning.
“Every governing body would be required to implement principals to make sure athletes are not alone with adults in situations that could be compromising,” she said.
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A patchwork of state laws on reporting suspected sex abuse made it necessary to enact a uniform national standard that would apply to amateur sports groups such as USA Gymnastics as well as to other sports organizations that participate in interstate and international travel, according to the bill’s backers. The failure to report a sexual abuse allegation could lead to up to one year in prison.
The legislation also extends the statute of limitations for victims to sue alleged perpetrators, recognizing that children sometimes don’t realize they were abused until years later. The statute of limitations was extended to age 28 or up to 10 years after the reasonable discovery of the violation, whichever is later.
The legislation also requires the governing bodies for amateur athletes to put in place “reasonable procedures” to limit one-on-one interactions between minors and adults, except in emergencies.
The measure heads back to the Senate for a vote before it can be sent to President Donald Trump for signature.
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