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Falsely Reporting Child Abuse Criminalized In New York

Child abuse and maltreatment investigative and prevention resources are severely limited.

Preventing the waste of such resources is necessary to ensure that the greatest number of children at risk receive the protection they need.

A New York State law, effective February 1, 2009, expands the provisions of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree to include the knowing, false reporting of child abuse or maltreatment.

It is intended to deter those who knowingly make these false allegations, and thus preserve precious resources while punishing those who would knowingly cause an unnecessary diversion of these resources.
In addition, it is intended to deter harassment because false reports of child abuse or maltreatment have been used as a vehicle to harass parents, guardians, family members or others, particularly in connection with child custody proceedings.

This law makes it a crime to knowingly report a false claim of child abuse or maltreatment, when the false report is provided to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, or the false report is provided to any person required to report cases of suspected child abuse, or maltreatment under the social services law, knowing that the person is required to report these cases and with the intent that the alleged occurrence be reported to the statewide central register.