By Christine Ferretti
Allen Park — Amy Carns is battling to prevent her 5-year-old daughter from being alone with her ex-husband, a convicted sex offender.
Carns says it's been an uphill fight because the state doesn't have a proper statute to protect children from potentially being victims of sex offender parents.
The 31-year-old Allen Park mother joined forces with state Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, to draft the Children's Protection Act, a bill expected to go before the Legislature by the end of the year. It would ensure that judges don't grant custody to sex offender parents who pose a risk.
"There are so many children at risk today," Carns said at a Wednesday news conference. "Children are our future and they need to be protected. Period."
Senate Bill 989 was introduced by Hopgood in February and would require Michigan judges to rule that there is no determinable risk and state in writing that a child will be safe in the custody of a parent who is a known sex offender or else custody would be denied. The law would only pertain to the most serious offenders, he said.
"This is a common sense provision that frankly should already be on the books," he said.
Carns said her daughter was an infant when her former husband, [name withheld], was arrested for soliciting children on the Internet for sex.
He served 17 months in prison.
Legal analyst Charlie Langton said the bill — like the state's sex offender registry — gives judge's discretion and is "another safeguard" for children.