By ASHTON MARRA
A bi-partisan House committee focused on the issues of woman and children across the state will introduce four bills to the full legislature for its consideration in the upcoming session.
“If every Delegate is thinking properly, they’re going to do the right thing by voting for these,” said Delegate Linda Goode Phillips, chair of the Select Committee on Crimes Against Children.
“I think these are more from the heart, common sense bills. We want to protect the children.”
The bills were announced during a press conference at the Capitol Tuesday.
- Misdemeanor Child Abuse Charge- Creates a misdemeanor offense of child neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian that creates substantial risk of bodily injury, punishable by fine and/or prison time, first offense carries a requirement that offender complete a parenting class
- Misdemeanor Child Neglect Charge- Creates a misdemeanor offense of child neglect by parent, guardian, or custodian that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury, punishable by fine and/or prison, first offense carries a requirement that offender complete a parenting class
- Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography- Modifies language in existing law so each frame in a video or image file in a folder or collection of images would be counted as separate image for purposes of prosecution, offense defined as accessing with the intent to view such material to automatic file sharing tools, adds additional felony charges for those viewing more than 500 images and repeat offenders
- Parental Rights- Clarifies the court’s authority to bar visitation rights to a child who was conceived as a result of sexual assault