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Zachary D. Kaufman

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Title 8 (Public Welfare and Charitable Institutions), Chapter 42 (Child Safety, Well-being, and Protection Act)

United States

1131: Citizens’ obligation to report.

All persons shall be required to immediately report cases of actual or suspected child abuse, institutional abuse, neglect, and/or institutional neglect, or if a child is at risk of being a victim thereof.

Any person who, in the performance of his/her professional responsibilities or employment, has knowledge of or watches any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide that depicts a minor involved in a sexual activity shall report that fact immediately to the Department through its Abuse Hotline, to the Puerto Rico Police Department, or to the local office of the Department. Any film, picture, videotape, negative, or slide that depicts a minor involved or participating in a sexual act shall be surrendered to the nearest station of the Puerto Rico Police.

The information furnished by virtue of this section, as well as the identity of the person who furnishes the same, shall be kept strictly confidential, except in cases of unsubstantiated reports in which false information has been knowingly provided.

Information provided in good faith by any person, official, or institution required to furnish information regarding child abuse, institutional abuse, neglect, and/or institutional neglect, as provided in this chapter, may not be used against him/her/it in any civil or criminal proceedings that may be initiated as a result of said action. The information reported by school or hospital employees and law enforcement officers who are required to allow the Department to intervene pursuant to the provisions of §§ 1114 of this title may not be used against them, either.

1172: Penalty

Any person, official, or public or private institution under the obligation to furnish information and who voluntarily and knowingly fails to meet that obligation, or who fails to perform any other act required by this chapter, or deliberately prevents another person acting reasonably from doing so, or knowingly furnishes false information or advises another person to do so, shall be guilty of a fourth degree felony and, upon conviction, be punished by the penalty set forth in the Penal Code for this offense. Any information furnished which is found to be false and whose natural or probable consequence is deemed to have interfered in the legitimate exercise of custody, parent-child relations, and parental rights shall be referred by the competent authority to the Department of Justice for evaluation and subsequent prosecution, if applicable.

Year of enactment

Last Amended