To raise public awareness for child abuse, to lobby for change to Kentucky legislation, as well as changing the laws nationwide, regarding child abuse and to create a national public child abuse registry... Employers are not the only ones who have the right to know if a person commits a violent act against a child. We as parents have a right to know!!!
PADUCAH, KY — Local lawmaker Rep. Steven Rudy wants to give prosecutors another tool in their tool belt when trying cases. Legislation proposed to the Kentucky's House floor stems from the death of two year-old Conner Bachuss in 2010.
The Commonwealth Attorney said Bachuss died at the hands of his mother's former boyfriend Ronald Saunders. In January 2011 Saunder's pleaded no contest to a much lesser charge of man-- slaughter. Rep. Steven Rudy wants to change that by introducing an amendment that would alter a law already in place.
"Should it happen again,then prosecutors will have a tool to more appropriately prosecute people (like Saunders) that were to do something heinous like this," Rep. Rudy said.
The investigation into the death of Bachuss showed puncture wounds on the bottom of his feet and in the genital area, as well as fresh bruises on his head, neck and arms. In the end, Ronald Saunders pleaded no contest to manslaughter and Rudy wants that to change. He's trying to tweak current manslaughter laws on the books by adding some of the same language already used in abuse laws.
"It more align the manslaughter statute with the area of the child abuse statute," Rep. Rudy said. "(It) creates another level there to give prosecutors another thing where they could prosecute on should something like this happen again." Rep. Rudy said the proposal is at its earliest stages but hopes to pass the changes later this year. Conner Bachuss' mother, Mashanna, contacted Rep. Rudy about the issue earlier this year in hopes of changing the law.
In a statement emailed to Local 6 regarding the matter Mashanna Bachuss wrote, "We feel like this is the first step in a long road to bring awareness to the growing silent epidemic of fatal child abuse. We feel like a fatal child abuse case should never be ruled a non-violent crime. We hope Conner's name and this law will give a voice to children that have been silenced because of abuse."
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