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 passed unanimously by the House of Representatives today and will next be considered by the Senate.
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.
“Casey Anthony waited almost a month before reporting that her daughter was missing,” said Simmons. “Many of us heard from our constituents about this case. They were outraged by her concealment of the child’s death and asked us to strengthen the law here in Pennsylvania. I encourage the Senate to act on the bill quickly so we can get it to the governor for his signature as soon as possible.”
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
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs