Parents could be liable for children's gang activity

Parents could be liable for children's gang activity

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Lawmakers are considering a bill that could make parents financially liable for their child's criminal activity as part of a street gang.

Senate Bill 118 would make parents responsible for graffiti or property damage up to $5,000 if their child participates in crimes for the benefit of a gang or to gain gang membership or status.

Under the bill, parents who had previous knowledge of the activities and tried to stop them or contacted the authorities would not be held liable.

However, some lawmakers say they're still worried about legal guardians being held responsible if a child runs away or was being cared for by someone else.

A committee discussed the bill Friday but decided to hold it for changes.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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