Simmons’ ‘Caylee’s Law’ Child Protection Bill Heads to Senate
HARRISBURG – A bill sponsored by state Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton), which would increase the penalties for the crime of concealing the death of a child was passed in the House of Representatives by a unanimous vote today. House Bill 20 next heads to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation would upgrade the offense of concealing the death of a child 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 the persons who can be charged with this offense are a parent, including a natural parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, guardian or paramour of the child’s parent; an individual residing in the same household as the child; or an individual responsible for the child’s welfare, including a babysitter, teacher or coach.

“Along with increasing the penalties, my bill will make it crystal clear that anyone who is in a position of responsibility for a child commits a crime if he or she conceals their death,” said Simmons. “I am grateful for the overwhelming support of my House colleagues and their quick passage of this important piece of child protection legislation.”

House Bill 20 is in response to the highly publicized Caylee Anthony case in Florida several years ago. During the trial of Casey Anthony, the evidence disclosed that she waited almost a month before reporting her child was missing, which led to national outrage over the concealment of Caylee’s death. It is part of a package of legislation referred to as “Caylee’s Law.”

Simmons introduced similar legislation during the 2011-12 legislative session. House Bill 1842 was approved by the House, but failed to come up with a vote in the Senate.

“I am hopeful there is enough support this time around in the Senate to strengthen one of the laws against those who commit crimes against Pennsylvania’s children.” said Simmons.

For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities, visit or

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Andy Briggs
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