Mar. 13, 2019

HARRISBURG – Legislation which would increase the penalties for the crime of concealing the death of a child, sponsored by Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton), was overwhelmingly approved by the House Judiciary Committee today and sent to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.

House Bill 288 is also known as “Caylee’s Law” because its impetus is the highly publicized child death case of Caylee Anthony in Florida a decade ago.

“During the trial of the little girl’s mother, we learned that Casey Anthony waited nearly a month before reporting her daughter was missing,” said Simmons. “We need to strengthen Pennsylvania law to discourage that kind of tragic behavior involving a young child from taking place here.”

Simmons’ proposal would upgrade the offense of concealing the death of a child from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony and increase the maximum penalties to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

The measure also would clarify that those who can be charged with this offense are a parent, an individual living in the same household as the child, or an individual responsible for the child’s welfare. A “parent” is defined as a natural parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, guardian or paramour of the child’s parent.

Simmons has introduced similar legislation in previous sessions.

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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