HARRISBURG - Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) will sponsor legislation next month aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect like that which killed 12-year-old Maxwell Schollenberger of Annville.
On May 26, Max, who died of blunt force trauma and starvation after years of abuse and neglect, was found lifeless in squalid conditions in the dark, second story bedroom in which he had been held captive. His father, Scott Schollenberger, and his father’s fiancé, Kimberly Maurer, are charged with his murder.
“No child should ever suffer like Max did,” said Ryan. “As a father and grandfather, I will never understand what compels some people to abuse or neglect their children or any child. I am working with a group of concerned citizens to prevent this horrible abuse and these senseless deaths from happening. The Justice for Maxwell Legal Committee, which was formed in response to the outrage and heartache of Max’s tragic death, is comprised of doctors, educators, former law enforcement officers, communications professionals, mothers and law students. We are working to get justice for Max and to help protect others like him.
“Today would have been Max’s 13th birthday,” Ryan said. “When the new legislative session begins in January, I will introduce Maxwell’s Law, legislation that will focus on preventative measures to provide protection for children, so kids like Max have an advocate to help them and their families through crises; curative measures to improve funding by the Commonwealth for Children and Youth Services, child advocates in court, and alternative counseling services for families in distress; and punitive measures to significantly enhance the punishment judges can impose upon conviction of such crimes.
“My goal is to have the new law in place by Max’s next birthday - Dec. 8, 2021. To meet this date, we will all have to work together to help children and families struggling with life’s challenges,” Ryan said. “As a retired Marine Reserve colonel, I thought I had seen most things in life but when I think of little Max living in such pain and so close to an elementary school where other children were playing, I vowed that Max’s memory would be honored. While I believe he is at peace now and playing in Heaven, I promise justice for Max here on Earth.”
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham