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Child abuse bill introduced in Senate

Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen

SANTA FE — Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen, will ask his colleagues this year to toughen criminal penalties for a variety of crimes against children — one of the governor’s priorities this session.

Baca’s proposal, Senate Bill 96, would expand “Baby Brianna’s Law” to cover all children up to 18 and impose stiffer penalties for intentional abuse of a child in certain circumstances; sending an obscene photo of a body part to a child, even if the image isn’t of the adult’s own body; and enticement of a child into a secluded area for a criminal purpose.

“It really puts the pressure on some of our most heinous offenders out there,” Baca said.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has added it to lawmakers’ agenda for consideration this year.

It must clear three committees — Public Affairs, Judiciary and Finance — before reaching the Senate floor, no easy tax in a 30-day session.

“Baby Brianna’s Law” now imposes a life sentence for intentional child abuse resulting in death for children who are 12 and younger. The proposed expansion would apply the life sentence regardless of the child’s age.

 

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