SYRACUSE, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is the co-sponsor of newly introduced legislation that would strengthen penalties for harming or killing a child and for obstructing law enforcement in investigations of those cases.
“As a father and a legislator, I am fully in support of legislation that protects children and punishes those who harm them. We’ve seen too many cases locally and nationally where egregious offenses have been committed against children with insufficient penalties. This legislation gives law enforcement the tools they need to appropriately charge and prosecute anyone who abuses or kills a child.”
The Protect Our Children Act would create the new crime of aggravated murder of a child with a sentence of life without parole. In addition, the bill would expand an existing law of aggravated abuse of a child, making it a crime to recklessly cause physical injury to a child under the age of 14.
Other provisions of the bill would:
• Make it a felony to conceal the death of a child.
• Make it a felony to fail to notify law enforcement when the whereabouts of a young child is unknown for more than 24 hours.
• Make it a felony to to obstruct the location of a missing child;
• Create a felony child endangering statute to protect children from especially cruel and sadistic conduct.
• Create a statute to protect children from serious reckless abuse.
• Increase penalties for repeat child abusers.