On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed legislation aimed at strengthening the requirements for reporting sexual abuse. The bill was introduced in 2017 by Dianne Feinstein but was given a fresh push after the nation’s attention was captured by serial sexual abuser and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The bill is entitled “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” and is an amendment to the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. The law will force “adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes” to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse. If the adults fail to report the abuse, they could face criminal penalties.
The Larry Nassar case was particularly disturbing as Nassar’s abuse carried on for many years and affected hundreds of girls. One victim, McKayla Maroney claimed that Team USA Gymnastics paid her hush money to keep quiet about the abuse. Over 265 girls came forward to accuse Nassar and many of them gave impassioned speeches in the courtroom as the disgraced doctor looked on.
In an unusual move, Trump will sign the bill in private without the presence of the press, according to The Hill. The White House has been dealing with the resignation of staff secretary Rob Porter, who was accused of abuse by two of his ex-wives. Unlike most of the controversies that have struck the Trump White House, the Porter resignation refuses to go away, in part because the West Wing changed their story on Porter multiple times. On Monday, Trump issued a statement saying that he “supports the victims of domestic violence.”
And the news cycle continued to get worse for 1600 Penn on Monday night when Trump attorney Michael Cohen admitted to The New York Times that he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in the months before the election. That payment was reportedly made in exchange for Daniels silence on a 2006 affair with the president.