When sexual abuse takes place within a home or family in New York, there may be questions of whether bystanders have a duty to report the illegal activity and whether they can be arrested for a criminal offense for failing to do so. Where a man may be abusing a child, and his wife may be aware of it to some degree or another, can the authorities arrest the mother for a criminal violation in her own right? New York State Police would generally answer yes to that question as they did just recently in arresting a 51-year-old woman for allegedly knowing of her husband's sex offenses against a minor over a 10-year period.
The NYSP charged the 50-year-old man with Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the 2nd Degree. The crime carries a maximum of seven years in prison. They charged the wife with endangering the welfare of a child. According to the authorities, the woman knew what was going on, but wasn't "trying to reach out to any local or state law enforcement to try and seek help" and to turn her husband in to the authorities.