Sen. Buck Newton (R-Greene) presents a bill expanding the scope of felony child abuse laws.
Legislators on the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that expands the scope of North Carolina’s felony child abuse laws.
House Bill 748 would make it a Class D felony for a person caring for a child to commit — or allow someone else to commit — a sexual act on that minor. It would also create a B2 felony offense — in the same class as manslaughter, burglary and drug trafficking — for “routinely inflicting physical injury” on a child and depriving a minor of the food, clothing, shelter or physical care they need to survive.
“The overall problem is that when a child is tortured, it’s not usually a one-time serious assault,” said Sen. Buck Newton (R-Greene). “Rather, it’s small injuries, deprivations, over time, which cause serious harm when repeated.”
The bill passed the House at the end of April.
Before the bill passed out of committee Sen. Michael Lazzara (R-Onslow) amended the proposal to add the language from Senate Bill 360, which modifies victim and sex offender registry laws, and create a new crime for causing or permitting a minor to be exposed to a controlled substance.
“Basically, if a child ingest the drugs and it causes physical injury or bodily injury, it creates some Class E through C felonies, and also proximate cause of death will cause a B1 felony,” said Lazzara.
Legislators sent the bill to the Senate Rules Committee.
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