The Associated Press, May 30, 1999

Child Abuse Bill Debated in Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Adults would have to tell police if they witness child abuse under legislation approved by Nevada lawmakers Sunday. The bill was inspired by the case of a 7-year-old girl strangled in a casino restroom.

Most family member would be exempt under the bill named for Sherrice Iverson. The only exception would be if a parent was abusing a child; the other parent would be required to report it to police.

The law, if signed by the governor, would carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

Jeremy Strohmeyer, 19, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for molesting and killing Sherrice in a Las Vegas casino restroom in 1977. The girl had been left in a casino arcade with her older brother while their father gambled.

Strohmeyer's friend, David Cash, said he saw the beginning of the assault but did not intervene or report it to authorities.

He could not be charged under Nevada law at the time.

At least four states have so-called Good Samaritan laws requiring witnesses to call police, including Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Minnesota.

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