TITLE 11
Criminal Offenses

CHAPTER 11-9
Children

SECTION 11-9-5.3


§ 11-9-5.3 Child abuse – Brendan's Law.

(a) This section shall be known and may be referred to as "Brendan's Law".

(b) Whenever a person having care of a child, as defined by § 40-11-2(2), whether assumed voluntarily or because of a legal obligation, including any instance where a child has been placed by his or her parents, caretaker, or licensed or governmental child placement agency for care or treatment, knowingly or intentionally:

(1) Inflicts upon a child serious bodily injury, shall be guilty of first degree child abuse.

(2) Inflicts upon a child any other physical injury, shall be guilty of second degree child abuse.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "serious bodily injury" means physical injury that:

(1) Creates a substantial risk of death;

(2) Causes protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily parts, member or organ, including any fractures of any bones;

(3) Causes serious disfigurement; or

(4) Evidences subdural hematoma, intercranial hemorrhage and/or retinal hemorrhages as signs of "shaken baby syndrome" and/or "abusive head trauma."

(d) For the purpose of this section, "other physical injury" is defined as any injury, other than a serious bodily injury, which arises other than from the imposition of nonexcessive corporal punishment.

(e) Any person who commits first degree child abuse shall be imprisoned for not more than twenty (20) years, nor less than ten (10) years and fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Any person who is convicted of second degree child abuse shall be imprisoned for not more than ten (10) years, nor less than five (5) years and fined not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

(f) Any person who commits first degree child abuse on a child age five (5) or under shall not on the first ten (10) years of his or her sentence be afforded the benefit of suspension or deferment of sentence nor of probation for penalties provided in this section; and provided further, that the court shall order the defendant to serve a minimum of eight and one-half (8 1/2) years or more of the sentence before he or she becomes eligible for parole.

(g) Any person who has been previously convicted of first or second degree child abuse under this section and thereafter commits first degree child abuse shall be imprisoned for not more than forty (40) years, nor less than twenty (20) years and fined not more than twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars and shall be subject to subsection (f) of this section if applicable. Any person who has been previously convicted of first or second degree child abuse under this section and thereafter commits second degree child abuse shall be imprisoned for not more than twenty (20) years, nor less than ten (10) years and fined not more than ten thousand ($10,000) dollars.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 211, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 130, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 139, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 109, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 271, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 318, § 1.)