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Missouri Supreme Court Hears Child Abuse Case


Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the mandatory reporting law for suspected child abuse.

Judges heard an appeal Wednesday of a Greene County judge's decision striking down the law as too vague.

The law requires certain people such as doctors, nurses and teachers to report suspected child abuse to the state.

Greene County prosecutors charged a hospital nurse for failing to report possible abuse on Dominic James, a two-year-old foster child who later died. But the trial judge dismissed the charges and declared the law unconstitutional.

At issue during today's arguments was whether the phrase "reasonable cause to suspect" is specific enough for people to understand when they must make an abuse report.