Calif. bill requires witnesses to report crimes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Calif. bill requires witnesses to report crimes

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Witnesses could be charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report violent attacks in California under legislation approved by the state Assembly.

The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara follows the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl outside a high school homecoming dance in Richmond, in the San Francisco Bay area, in October. Investigators believe as many as 10 people participated while another 20 or so watched without calling police.

Current law requires witnesses to report violent crimes when the victim is younger than 14. Nava's bill expands the requirement to include victims of all ages. Violators would face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.

Lawmakers approved the bill Wednesday on a 61-3 vote. It now goes to the Senate.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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