LYON COUNTY, Nev.(KRNV & MyNews4.com)--Mandated reporters are required by law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect.
NRS-432B clearly outlines who those people are in the community.
They are doctors, teachers, school officials, clergyman among many others.
But a Lyon County family says after their daughter became a victim at school the adults who were supposed to protect her, failed her, saying they didn't report more than one incident to authorities.
"She had been ganged up on by a group of boys and spanked, that was the first incident we had with our daughter."
Hearing about his eight year old daughter being spanked by a group of 5 boys at school was concerning to this Dayton father and his wife who wish to remain anonymous.
School officials at Riverview Elementary told them what had happened and some in school disciplinary action was taken but then just a few days later, two of the same boys allegedly harassed her again on the bus.
"Two young men exposed themselves to my daughter on the bus."
The parents say the 8 year old told the substitute bus driver, but the driver's statement to the Lyon County Sheriff's Office reads: "I did not see anything happen and if the student did report it to me, I did not understand what she told me."
The bus driver did not report anything to anyone.
The family says the school claims the first time it was aware of the bus incident on December 12th was when the parents called to report yet another incident that happened 2 days later on December 14th.
The eight year old came home with blood in her underwear and the parents took her to her pediatrician who filed a report with child protective services of suspected sexual abuse.
Reporter question, "Did the school report the 3 incidents at all to the Lyon County Sheriff's Office? The father says, "No, they did not report any of them."
The girls parents are upset that the bus driver and the school principal never contacted authorities as required by Nevada's mandatory reporting law designed to protect children
"What are they doing to keep our children safe especially when you call and report it and nothing happens you don't see any action at all."
The mother is expressing a deep concern. "Are they really capable of dealing with our kids?"
The Sheriff's Office filed a failure to report against the principal of the school Nolan Greenburg in March for not reporting suspected sexual abuse, however, the case against the principal was not pursued by the Lyon County District Attorney.
The father says, "We were told that because there were no charges brought against the children that nothing could be done with that law."
News Four contacted the Lyon County District Attorney and was told if no charges were brought against the perpetrators, no charges can be brought against the principal for failure to report.
The attorney who handled the case, the deputy district attorney and District Attorney Bob Auer all refused to discuss the matter on camera and repeatedly said without an underlying criminal conviction they are prohibited from charging the principal who did not report.
News Four checked with the Legislative Counsel Bureau to find out if a conviction is required to trigger the mandatory reporting law they said nothing in the law requires a conviction.
The director of Washoe County Child Protective Services says the mandatory reporting law is clear and is not affected by whether of not a perpetrator is convicted.
Kevin Schiller says, "The reporting perspective of it is just that. Was a report made in accordance with what is required."
Schiller says the law protects people who report suspected abuse, however if no report is made law enforcement cannot protect children.
If a reporter does not notify authorities of any suspected child abuse or neglect they have committed a misdemeanor crime.
"The importance of that law... If we don't receive the reports we can't get out to provide proactive preventative services and determine how to keep a child safe."
News Four asked the Deputy District Attorney to explain what law requires a conviction prior to charging someone with a failure to report child abuse.
He emailed several statutes but failed to answer the question.
We have included those laws that he sent below.
There are two separate locations in the Nevada Revised Statutes that govern the reporting concerning children. NRS 432B.220 et seq. set forth the requirements for reporting abuse or neglect and reports of prenatal illegal substance abuse. NRS 202.870 et seq. set forth the requirements for the reporting of certain violent or sexual offenses against children.
Pursuant to NRS 432B.020 “abuse or neglect of a child” is defined as physical or mental injury of a nonaccidental nature, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation or “negligent treatment or maltreatment.” Pursuant to NRS 432B.140 negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child occurs if a child has been abandoned, is without proper care, control and supervision or lacks the subsistence, education, shelter, medical care or other care necessary for the wellbeing of the child. There is no definition within Chapter 432B defining sexual abuse or sexual exploitation; however, NRS 202.876 defines a “violent or sexual offense.” “Violent or sexual offense” means any act that, if prosecuted in this State, would constitute any of the following offenses:
1. Murder or voluntary manslaughter pursuant to NRS 200.010 to200.260, inclusive.
2. Mayhem pursuant to NRS 200.280.
3. Kidnapping pursuant to NRS 200.310 to 200.340, inclusive.
4. Sexual assault pursuant to NRS 200.366.
5. Robbery pursuant to NRS 200.380.
6. Administering poison or another noxious or destructive substance or liquid with intent to cause death pursuant to NRS 200.390.
7. Battery with intent to commit a crime pursuant to NRS 200.400.
8. Administering a drug or controlled substance to another person with the intent to enable or assist the commission of a felony or crime of violence pursuant to NRS 200.405 or 200.408.
9. False imprisonment pursuant to NRS 200.460 if the false imprisonment involves the use or threatened use of force or violence against the victim or the use or threatened use of a firearm or a deadly weapon.
10. Assault with a deadly weapon pursuant to NRS 200.471.
11. Battery which is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or which results in substantial bodily harm as described in NRS 200.481 or battery which is committed by strangulation as described in NRS 200.481 or 200.485.
12. An offense involving pornography and a minor pursuant toNRS 200.710 or 200.720.
13. Solicitation of a minor to engage in acts constituting the infamous crime against nature pursuant to NRS 201.195.
14. Intentional transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus pursuant to NRS 201.205.
15. Open or gross lewdness pursuant to NRS 201.210.
16. Lewdness with a child pursuant to NRS 201.230.
17. An offense involving pandering or prostitution in violation ofNRS 201.300, 201.320 or 201.340.
18. Coercion pursuant to NRS 207.190, if the coercion involves the use or threatened use of force or violence against the victim or the use or threatened use of a firearm or a deadly weapon.
19. An attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit an offense listed in subsections 1 to 18, inclusive.
Additionally, in the cross-reference section of Chapter 432B Sexual abuse of a child is cross referenced with Statutory sexual seduction pursuant to NRS 200.368, Mutilation of genitalia of a female child pursuant to NRS 200.5083, Incest pursuant to NRS 201.180.
NRS 432B.220 sets forth the persons who must make a report of the foregoing abuse. If said persons know or have reason to that a child has been abused or neglected as discussed supra, then they must report that pursuant to the method described in NRS 432B.230 or face the misdemeanor penalty as set forth in NRS 432B.240.
Pursuant to NRS 202.882 sets forth the duty to report violent or sexual offenses against a child 12 years of age or younger as well as the penalties for failure to report. Again, “violent and sexual” offense has been described supra. A person who fails to report a violent or sexual offense against a child is guilty of a misdemeanor. NRS 202.882(2). Pursuant to NRS 202.885 a person may not be prosecuted or convicted pursuant to NRS 202.882 unless a court in this State or any other jurisdiction has entered a judgment against the culpable actor for a violent or sexual offense against the child or any other offense arising out of the same facts as the violent or sexual offense against the child.
A review of the case at hand indicated that upon notification of the relevant incidents school officials investigated the allegations of which they were made aware and made a determination that no abuse or neglect or violent or physical offense pursuant to Chapters 432B and 202 occurred. The Sheriff’s office investigation similarly did not reveal abuse or neglect or violent or physical offense pursuant to Chapters 432B and 202. Further, no “culpable actor” has been convicted.
As a further note NRS 388.121 et seq. discuss the provision of safe and respectful learning environments including addressing “bullying,” “cyber-bullying,” “harassment,” and “intimidation.” NRS 388.121 et seq. address certain requirements of school districts to adopt policies to provide a safe and respectful learning environment free of bullying; however, NRS 388.121 et seq. does not require the notification of law enforcement and does not provide a criminal penalty.