Lawmaker Wants Stricter Penalties For Some Child-Abusers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 18, 2008
California’s Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines admits it’s an emotional issue for him. A young boy in his district named Adam was abused and permanently disabled. “This was a healthy, happy young man, 3-4 years old, who was shaken to the point he’ll never walk again, can’t talk, can’t see. Crazy.” Adam’s abuser was sentenced to ten years in prison, but Villines says he probably won’t serve that full sentence. Under a bill he’s introduced, Villines says people who cause permanent injury to children under eight will face 15 years to life in prison. Villines says right now the law doesn’t consider the degree of injury for children under eight when determining the sentence for the crime. He says district attorneys and juries should have the option of imposing a stricter sentence in cases like Adam’s. Villines introduced the bill late last week. There’s no formal opposition.