• FOX25 investigates reporting delay connected to Bridgewater state student arrest

    Updated:
    BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) --The day care director at Bridgewater State University was suspended from her position at the university amid allegations that she waited to report potential child abuse involving one of the students who worked at the center.

    According to court records, when Judith Ritacco first learned of the child sexual abuse allegations, she kept them to herself.

    On Thursday, FOX 25 asked Ritacco's boss why?

    Bridgewater State's President Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria said, “I can't comment on the ongoing investigation."

    Under Chapter 119 Section 51a of Massachusetts State Law says Ritacco is considered a mandatory reporter. FOX25's Ted Daniel reviewed the law with Matthew Fogelman , a Newton lawyer experienced in these types of cases. He said if a teacher, nurse, police officer or any other mandatory reporter suspects abuse, reporting it is not an optional thing. It simply must be documented with the state using a 51A form.

    Failure to report is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and up to 2 and a half years in jail. FOX25 continues to investigate what happened at the Bridgewater state children's day care center.

    Based on what she knows, Attorney and Victim's Rights Advocate Wendy Murphy has made up her mind.

    “When you're talking about kids in an institution, kids who can't protect themselves, not only have they been abused, reportedly, they weren't protected by the people responsible for monitoring the abuser."

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