2003 -- H 6025 SUBSTITUTE A
A N A C T
RELATING TO ABUSED AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN
Introduced By: Representative Bruce J. Long
Date Introduced: February 12, 2003
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 40-11-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 40-11 entitled "Abused and
Neglected Children" is hereby amended to read as follows:
40-11-2. Definitions. -- When used in this chapter and unless the specific context
(1) "Abused and/or neglected child" means a child whose physical or mental health or
welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when his or her parent or other person responsible for
his or her welfare:
(i) Inflicts, or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or mental injury, including
excessive corporal punishment; or
(ii) Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the
child, including excessive corporal punishment; or
(iii) Commits or allows to be committed, against the child, an act of sexual abuse; or
(iv) Fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care,
though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so; or
(v) Fails to provide the child with a minimum degree of care or proper supervision or
guardianship because of his or her unwillingness or inability to do so by situations or conditions
such as, but not limited to, social problems, mental incompetency, or the use of a drug, drugs, or
alcohol to the extent that the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare loses his or
her ability or is unwilling to properly care for the child; or
(vi) Abandons or deserts the child; or
(vii) Sexually exploits the child in that the person allows, permits or encourages the child
to engage in prostitution as defined by the provisions of chapter 34 of title 11, entitled
"Prostitution and Lewdness"; or
(viii) Sexually exploits the child in that the person allows, permits, encourages or
engages in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming or depiction of the child in a
setting which taken as a whole suggests to the average person that the child is about to engage in
or has engaged in, any sexual act, or which depicts any such child under eighteen (18) years of
age, performing sodomy, oral copulation, sexual intercourse, masturbation, or bestiality; or
(ix) Commits or allows to be committed any sexual offense against the child as such
sexual offenses are defined by the provisions of chapter 37 of title 11 entitled "Sexual Assault",
as amended; or
(x) Commits or allows to be committed against any child an act involving sexual
penetration or sexual contact if the child is under fifteen (15) years of age; or if the child is fifteen
(15) years or older, and (1) force or coercion is used by the perpetrator, or (2) the perpetrator
knows or has reason to know that the victim is a severely impaired person as defined by the
provisions of section 11-5-11, or physically helpless as defined by the provisions of section 11-
(2) "Child" means a person under the age of eighteen (18).
(3) "Child protective investigator" means an employee of the department charged with
responsibility for investigating complaints and/or referrals of child abuse and/or neglect and
institutional child abuse and/or neglect.
(4) "Department" means department of children, youth, and families.
(5) "Institution" means any private or public hospital or other facility providing medical
and/or psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and care.
(6) "Institutional child abuse and neglect" means situations of known or suspected child
abuse or neglect where the person allegedly responsible for the abuse or neglect is a foster parent
or the employee of a public or private residential child care institution or agency; or any staff
person providing out-of-home care or situations where the suspected abuse or neglect occurs as a
result of the institution's practices, policies, or conditions.
(7) "Law enforcement agency" means the police department in any city or town and/or
the state police.
(8) "Mental injury" includes a state of substantially diminished psychological or
intellectual functioning in relation to, but not limited to, such factors as: failure to thrive; ability
to think or reason; control of aggressive or self-destructive impulses; acting-out or misbehavior,
including incorrigibility, ungovernability, or habitual truancy; provided, however, that the injury
must be clearly attributable to the unwillingness or inability of the parent or other person
responsible for the child's welfare to exercise a minimum degree of care toward the child.
(9) "Person responsible for child's welfare" means the child's parent, guardian, any
individual eighteen (18) years of age or older who resides in the home of a parent or guardian and
has unsupervised access to a child, foster parent, an employee of a public or private residential
home or facility, or any staff person providing out-of-home care (out-of-home care means child
day care to include family day care, group day care, and center-based day care). Provided, further
that any individual, age eighteen (18) years of age or older who resides in the home of a parent or
guardian and has unsupervised access to the child, shall not have the right to consent to the
removal and examination of the child for the purpose of section 40-11-6 of the general laws.
(10) "Physician" means any licensed doctor of medicine, licensed osteopathic physician,
and any physician, intern, or resident of an institution as defined in subdivision (5).
(11) "Probable cause" means facts and circumstances based upon as accurate and reliable
information as possible that would justify a reasonable person to suspect that a child is abused or
neglected. The facts and circumstances may include evidence of an injury or injuries, and the
statements of a person worthy of belief, even if there is no present evidence of injury.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.