NC Senate committee OKs tougher child abuse law

Apr. 16, 2013 @ 03:02 PM

A bill increasing penalties for those convicted of child abuse is heading for a vote in the North Carolina Senate.

A Senate judiciary committee signed off on the bill Tuesday, about a month after the House passed the bill unanimously. The bill is named after Kilah Davenport, a Union County toddler who suffered severe brain damage last May from a beating that investigators have blamed on her stepfather.

Bill sponsors say the measure will discourage future child abuse by doubling maximum sentences to more than 30 years for the most serious crimes. The bill also tracks those convicted of child abuse separately from domestic abuse to help determine rates of repeat crimes.

The bill would go into effect Dec. 1 if passed by the Senate.