ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A new law goes in effect Wednesday, requiring both parents to be notified in cases where a child is the victim of physical abuse or sexual assault.
To a packed audience at the state house, Gov. Mark Dayton brings to life Jacob’s Law, inspired by the tragic story of 12-year-old Jacob, who was sexually assaulted by a neighbor in 2005 while visiting his father.
The father told police he’d handle the situation — he didn’t and Jacob suffered in silence for four years, until he broke down and told his mom.
“I’d just like to say thank you for coming down and helping us,” a tearful Jacob told reporters after Dayton signed the law. “Thank you to all of you guys.”
His mom, Sarah Guggisberg says not knowing what happened to Jacob prevented her from getting him much-needed help. The bill changes the requirement in current law that only one parent must be notified in such circumstances.
“Jacob’s Law is pretty amazing, too, because there are not too many laws out there named after a child who is still alive,” she said.
Sponsors say it’s a rare circumstances but devastating to those who experience it.