Child abuse has regularly made national headlines recently with former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation allegations. Sandusky maintains his innocence but was sentenced this week to a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Each year, the number of children who become victims of abuse and neglect grow throughout the country. Individuals who assist and help these children face numerous obstacles and challenges.

The first installment of the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Hellen and Will Carpenter Series on Contemporary Issues in American Society will focus on protecting children and keeping communities safe.

“Protecting our Children: Lessons Learned from Penn State” will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 in the auditorium at the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center at UMSL. Jerry Dunn, academic director of the Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis at UMSL, will moderate the panel discuss.

Panelists will include:

  • Detective Tony Cavaletti, St. Louis County Police Department, Child Abuse & Neglect Unit
  •  Rep. Marsha Haefner, co-chair of governor’s Task Force on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
  •  Anthony Harper, chief investigator, Child Fatalities, Child Abuse & Neglect Unit, Children’s Division
  •  Rep. Stacey Newman, co-chair of governor’s Task Force on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
  •  Kate Tansey, executive director, St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund
  •  Natalie Warner, assistant circuit attorney, 22nd Judicial Circuit, Child Abuse & Neglect Unit

A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL. It is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by emailing

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton