GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2007

 

 

SESSION LAW 2008-191

SENATE BILL 1860

 

 

AN ACT to increase the criminal penalty for misdemeanor child abuse and to amend the criminal offense of felony child abuse as recommended by the child fatality task force.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

SECTION 1.  G.S. 14-318.2 reads as rewritten:

" 14-318.2.  Child abuse a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(a)       Any parent of a child less than 16 years of age, or any other person providing care to or supervision of such child, who inflicts physical injury, or who allows physical injury to be inflicted, or who creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury, upon or to such child by other than accidental means is guilty of the Class 1Class A1 misdemeanor of child abuse.

(b)       The Class 1 Class A1 misdemeanor 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)       A parent who abandons an infant less than seven days of age pursuant to G.S. 14-322.3 shall not be prosecuted under this section for any acts or omissions related to the care of that infant."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 14-318.4 reads as rewritten:

" 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 E 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 juvenile child is guilty of child abuse and shall be punished as a Class E 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 a juvenile the child is guilty of a Class E 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 C felony. "Serious bodily injury" is defined as 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.

(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 H felony if the act or omission results in serious physical injury to the child.

(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."

SECTION 3.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2008, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.  Prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of this act are not abated or affected by this act, and the statutes that would be applicable but for this act remain applicable to those prosecutions.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 15th day of July, 2008.

 

 

                                                                    s/ Beverly E. Perdue

                                                                         President of the Senate

 

 

                                                                    s/ Joe Hackney

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley

                                                                         Governor

 

 

Approved 8:12 a.m. this 8th day of August, 2008