Lawmakers push for stiffer penalties for repeat child abusers

Apr 23, 2012

Local members of the state delegation are trying to build support for legislation aimed at cracking down on repeat child abusers. 

Senator Timothy Kennedy and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak are sponsoring Jay J's Law, named for Jay J. Bolvin who suffered nearly a dozen broken bones at the hands of his father, Jeremy Bolvin, before he was two months of age.

Jay J's guardian Kevin Retzer says the abuse caused permanent brain damage and Jay J still does not talk like a normal two-year-old.  

"For giving Jay J. a life sentence, his father was given 16 to 48 months. His father had broken the arm of an older child, Jay J.'s older brother, and he got seven months suspended sentence and never served any time for that," Retzer said.

"That is a sad reality. What Jay J's law does is it strengthens the penalty for those that abuse and prey on the most vulnerable individuals in our society," said Senator Timothy Kennedy.

Retzer says the judge in the trial imposed the stiffest penalty allowed.  Under Jay J's Law, repeat violent child abusers could be sentenced to more severe penalties.  

But before the bill can become law, Kennedy says more of his colleagues in Albany need to come out in support of it. 

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