Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Section 51B of chapter 119 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1994 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out clause (4) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-
(4) notify in writing the district attorney for the county in which the child resides and for the county in which the offense occurred by transmitting to such district attorney a copy of the report required under section fifty-one A and this section if, after an investigation and evaluation undertaken pursuant to clause (1), the department has reasonable cause to believe that any of the following conditions has resulted from abuse or neglect; provided, however, that the department may immediately report cases of serious physical injury to the appropriate office of the district attorney:
(a) a child has died;
(b) a child has been sexually assaulted, as set forth in sections thirteen B, thirteen H, twenty-two, twenty-two A, twenty-three, twenty-four, and twenty-four B of chapter two hundred and sixty-five or section thirty-five A of chapter two hundred and seventy-two;
(c) a child has suffered brain damage, loss or substantial impairment of a bodily function or organ, or substantial disfigurement;
(d) a child has been sexually exploited, which shall mean encouraging a child to engage in prostitution as defined in sections four A and four B of chapter two hundred and seventy-two or in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depicting of a child as defined in section twenty-nine A of chapter two hundred and seventy-two; or
(e) a child has suffered serious physical abuse or injury that includes, but is not limited to: (i) a fracture of any bone, severe burn, impairment of any organ, or any other serious injury; (ii) an injury requiring the child to be placed on life-support systems; (iii) any other disclosure of physical abuse involving physical evidence which may be destroyed; (iv) any current disclosure by the child of sexual assault; or (v) the presence of physical evidence of sexual assault.
The department shall within forty-five days after making such notification further notify the district attorney of the service plan, if any, developed for such child and his family. No provision of chapter sixty-six A, section one hundred and thirty-five of chapter one hundred and twelve, and sections fifty-one E and fifty-one F of this chapter relating to confidential data or confidential communications shall prohibit the department from making such notifications or from providing to the district attorney any information obtained pursuant to clause (1) or furnished pursuant to this clause. No person providing notification or information to a district attorney pursuant to the provisions of this clause shall be liable in any civil or criminal action by reason of such action. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the department from notifying a district attorney relative to any incidents reported to the department pursuant to section fifty-one A or to limit the prosecutorial power of a district attorney.
The department shall forward to the local law enforcement authorities in the town in which the child resides and the town in which the offense occurred a copy of the report provided to the district attorney pursuant to this clause.