For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Kimberly Olsen has submitted legislation to criminalize the failure to report a missing child within 24 hours.
The proposal, approved by legislative leaders last month, involves what has become known as "Caylee's Law" in the several states in which it has been proposed or enacted. It was inspired by the tragic case of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, who was found dead after being reported missing by her grandmother. Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, admitted not having seen her for weeks at the time of the child's declared disappearance.
Rep. Olsen's legislation, LR 2310, would make it a Class C crime, punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, for a parent or legal guardian to fail to report a missing child within 24 hours of the child's disappearance.
"It's something I can't imagine any parent not supporting," said Rep. Olsen (R-Phippsburg). "I received a multitude of e-mails suggesting this legislation, and I was happy to sponsor what I believe to be a proactive bill that will help to ensure that law enforcement has every opportunity to do their job effectively and successfully."
Rep. Olsen said that passing LR 2310 would make it clear that Maine will not tolerate gross neglect in reporting missing children. "This law would provide all Maine children with the level of protection that Caylee Anthony deserved," she said. "Hopefully, it will never be necessary to prosecute anyone under this law. But if it becomes necessary, law enforcement should have this option at its disposal."
Rep. Olsen's measure, "An Act To Increase to a Class C Crime the Failure To Report a Missing Child within 24 Hours," will be considered when the Legislature convenes in January. ###
Maine House Republicans
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