Holding Enablers of Child Sexual Abuse Accountable: The Case of Jeremy Bell

73 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2023 Last revised: 6 Nov 2023

See all articles by Amos N. Guiora

Amos N. Guiora

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Valeri Craigle

James E. Faust Law Library; University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Aya Hibben

Honors College, University of Utah

Henry F. Fradella

Arizona State University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date Written: February 21, 2023

Abstract

In the United States, 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 13 men report being sexually abused as a child. Of the child sexual abuse that occurs during the K-12 years, much of it is aided and abetted by those in positions of authority who look the other way when abuse is known or suspected. This article uses the novel approach of holding not just the perpetrators of child sexual abuse accountable for these crimes, but also those who enable their criminal acts by failing to report suspicious behaviors or witnessed accounts of abuse. No case in more indicative of the tragic repercussions of failing to report abuse - particularly by those who are mandated to do so - than the case of Jeremy Bell, a child who had been sexually abused and ultimately murdered by his teacher, Edgar Friedrichs, in 1997. By recounting the story of Jeremy’s murder, the circumstances surrounding the crime, and the damage inflicted on Friedrichs’ many victims and their families, this article seeks to make a compelling argument for criminalizing enablers beyond the relatively mild penalties written into the laws that currently address this issue across the 50 states.

Keywords: criminal enablers, criminal law, criminal procedure, bystander, bystander legislation, psychology of enablers

Suggested Citation

Guiora, Amos N. and Craigle, Valeri and Hibben, Aya and Fradella, Henry, Holding Enablers of Child Sexual Abuse Accountable: The Case of Jeremy Bell (February 21, 2023). 59 No. 4 Crim. Law Bulletin ART 3, University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 538, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4366186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4366186

Amos N. Guiora

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-581-4295 (Phone)
801-581-6897 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utah.edu/profiles/default.asp?PersonID=6581&name=Guiora,Amos..

Valeri Craigle (Contact Author)

James E. Faust Law Library ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Aya Hibben

Honors College, University of Utah ( email )

Henry Fradella

Arizona State University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice ( email )

411 North Central Avenue, Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0685
United States

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