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Do we need a child abuse registry?

posted Mar 11, 2016, 7:23 AM by PHS Warrior Beat   [ updated Apr 28, 2016, 7:09 AM ]
By: On’Janae’ Sledge

    When 1 year old Wyatt Hammel was attacked by his babysitter/stepmother, Wyatt’s mother, who thought he would be in the best of hands, was surprised when she got the phone call saying that her son was hospitalized. He was almost dead with skull fractures and brain damage from being shaken violently by his father’s girlfriend, who had been living with his father in a rental home. Hammel never knew that the woman had been convicted before for child abuse two other times before this and was left on probation for both.

    It has been 3 years now and Wyatt is now 3 and has had 4 brain surgeries and now is partially blind in his left eye and has cognitive impairment. "Children are the most innocent and vulnerable members of society. At age one, Wyatt obviously couldn’t fight back," says Wyatt’s mother to a Fox News reporter.

    Wyatts mother is now calling for a new law to be passed that requires all child abuse offenders to register on a list, somewhat like a sex offenders list. She wants to call the law Wyatt's Law. If this 3 package of bills is passed, it will create a state-wide child abuse registry for the state of Michigan that will be managed by the Michigan state police departments. This law requires 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree offenders to apply for 10 years and 4th degree offender to apply for 5 years while also paying a yearly fee of $50 for updating profiles.

    Wyatt's attacker has pleaded no contest to second degree child abuse and was sentenced to 33 months to 10 years in prison. She will not be eligible for parole until March 2017. Just days before Edwards attacked Wyatt, she drugged a 3-year-old boy with Seroquel, a medication used to treat bipolar disorder. She was later found guilty of fourth-degree child abuse in that case. In 2011, she pleaded no contest to third-degree child abuse after hitting the same boy, leaving marks on his body. Both convictions allowed her to get probation.

Edited by: MC