The Michigan House last week approved legislation known as “Dominick’s Law” to strengthen penalties for child abuse in Michigan and create penalties for abuse in front of other people.
The two House bills, co-sponsored by Reps. Matt Lori and Joseph Graves, are named in memory of Dominick Calhoun, a 4-year-old who was beaten to death in 2010 in Genesee County.
The bills establish penalties for committing child abuse in the presence of another child, which is not currently considered an element of the crime.
Lori said legislation cannot change what happened to the young victim, but updating laws may demonstrate legislators’ determination to better protect Michigan children from child abusers.
The legislation also strengthens penalties for first- and second-degree child abuse, creating additional penalties for additional offenses of child abuse.