14-318.4. Child abuse a felony.

(a) A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age who intentionally inflicts any serious physical injury upon or to the child or who intentionally commits an assault upon the child which results in any serious physical injury to the child is guilty of a Class D felony, except as otherwise provided in subsection (a3) of this section.

(a1) Any parent of a child less than 16 years of age, or any other person providing care to or supervision of the child, who commits, permits, or encourages any act of prostitution with or by the child is guilty of child abuse and shall be punished as a Class D felon.

(a2) Any parent or legal guardian of a child less than 16 years of age who commits or allows the commission of any sexual act upon the child is guilty of a Class D felony.

(a3) A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age who intentionally inflicts any serious bodily injury to the child or who intentionally commits an assault upon the child which results in any serious bodily injury to the child, or which results in permanent or protracted loss or impairment of any mental or emotional function of the child, is guilty of a Class B2 felony.

(a4) A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age whose willful act or grossly negligent omission in the care of the child shows a reckless disregard for human life is guilty of a Class E felony if the act or omission results in serious bodily injury to the child.

(a5) A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age whose willful act or grossly negligent omission in the care of the child shows a reckless disregard for human life is guilty of a Class G felony if the act or omission results in serious physical injury to the child.

(a6) For purposes of this section, a "grossly negligent omission" in providing care to or supervision of a child includes the failure to report a child as missing to law enforcement as provided in G.S. 14-318.5(b).

(b) The felony of child abuse is an offense additional to other civil and criminal provisions and is not intended to repeal or preclude any other sanctions or remedies.

(c) Abandonment of an infant less than seven days of age pursuant to G.S. 14-322.3 may be treated as a mitigating factor in sentencing for a conviction under this section involving that infant.

(d) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Serious bodily injury. - Bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.

(2) Serious physical injury. - Physical injury that causes great pain and suffering. The term includes serious mental injury. (1979, c. 897, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 18; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1983, c. 653, s. 1; c. 916, 1; 1985, c. 509, s. 5; c. 668; 1993, c. 539, s. 1233; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999-451, s. 1; 2001-291, s. 5; 2008-191, s. 2; 2013-35, s. 1; 2013-52, s. 3.)