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Government & Politics

Ohio Lawmaker Pushes for Mandatory Sentences for Child Abusers

photo of Joe Schiavoni

  A state lawmaker wants to give judges the ability to put child abusers behind bars for as long as five years. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

If someone attacks a child under the age of 13, the harshest penalty prosecutors can seek is felonious assault. As Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of the Youngstown area explains, that’s on par with two adults fighting.

“It’s a sad thing to watch and it’s very upsetting and somebody that does knowingly and purposely hurt a child -- they deserve to face a stiff penalty in my opinion.”

The Democratic senator is proposing a bill that would let prosecutors seek additional charges against someone who abuses a victim 13 years or younger. That attachment would come with a mandatory sentence of one to five years.

The bill just had its first hearing in a Senate committee.