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Bill to protect kids heads to governor

The legislation was prompted by the beating of a Lake Stevens toddler

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Herald staff
  • Mike Hope

    Mike Hope

OLYMPIA -- Legislation spurred by the brutal 2007 beating of a Lake Stevens child passed the Senate on Friday and will be sent to the governor for her expected signature.
Eryk Woodruff was 15 months old when he was beaten nearly to death by a neighbor who was babysitting him at the time of the attack. The assailant is now serving a 10-year prison term.
The measure sponsored by Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, requires a study of whether longer sentences should be given to those convicted of first-degree assault of a child. The current maximum prison term is 10 years.
The bill also bans those convicted of this offense from working or volunteering where they are in charge of children under the age of 13. Current law does not make the prohibition mandatory and lets judges decide case-by-case.
The legislation cleared the Senate on a 42-0 vote. It passed the House on a 96-0 vote. It is proposed to be called the Eryk Woodruff Public Safety Act of 2009.
Story tags » Lake StevensPrisonGovernorLegislatureOlympia

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