The woman who runs the Broadway Neighborhood Center in Iowa City is facing charges for not reporting an allegation of child abuse. Iowa City Police Sergeant Denise Brotherton says it may be the first time in state history that a person known as a mandatory reporter was arrested for not reporting a possible crime.

“Protect the kids, that’s what it should be about,” Sergeant Brotherton says. “The parents trust that we are all doing that. When someone fails to do that, it just loses trust in the whole system.”

Police say 44-year-old Susan Freeman, of Iowa City, is accused of not reporting allegations a teacher in her center’s program sexually assaulted a girl under 12. The Iowa City police and the Iowa Department of Human Services are conducting a joint investigation into the sexual abuse allegations, according to Brotherton.

“We have to protect the children, that is the goal of this ultimately, to protect the children,” she says. “That’s what everyone’s ultimate goal should be in any of our positions.” The child’s mother reported the incident on December 12th to Iowa City police, which then reported the allegations to the D.H.S.

Freeman was arrested Wednesday night for suspicion of failing to report child abuse, a simple misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $300.

By Mark Carlson, KCRG, Cedar Rapids