The severity of Kilah’s abuse brought about the shocking realization that sentencing guidelines for a Class C felony child abuse case, would only dictate a maximum sentence for a convicted child abuser 44 to 92 months in prison. Despite knowing that advocating for a more severe sentencing structure would not affect Kilah’s abuser, Kilah’s plight spurred on a call for more severe punishments for child abusers.

Advocacy in North Carolina

With the determination of a loving family, a community of supporters and friends, and the support of North Carolina Legislators, Kilah’s Law was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on April 23rd, 2014. The law now doubles the penalty to a minimum of 125 months in jail for the person caring for a child under 16 years old who inflicts serious bodily injury either intentionally or as the unintentional result of an assault. In addition to tougher sentencing penalties, the law will also stipulate that there be a permanent record in the defendants criminal history that specifies that the offense involved child abuse.

Thanks go to the primary sponsors of the bill in the NC House of Representatives: Representative D. Craig Horn (Rep), Representative Sarah Stevens (Rep), Representative Dean Arp (Rep), Representative Rick Glazier (Dem), and the following additional sponsors:

Representative William D. Brisson (Dem)
Representative Mark Brody (Rep)
Representative Brian Brown (Rep)
Representative Dana Bumgardner (Rep)
Representative Tricia Ann Cotham (Dem)
Representative Jimmy Dixon (Rep)
Representative Susan C. Fisher (Dem)
Representative Carl Ford (Rep)
Representative Pricey Harrison (Dem)

Representative Mark W. Hollo (Rep)
Representative Frank Iler (Rep)
Representative Darren G. Jackson (Dem)
Representative Charles Jeter (Rep)
Representative Jonathan C. Jordan (Rep)
Representative Marvin W. Lucas (Dem)
Representative Chris Malone (Rep)
Representative Tim D. Moffitt (Rep)
Representative Rodney W. Moore (Dem)

Representative Dennis Riddell (Rep)
Representative Jason Saine (Rep)
Representative John Szoka (Rep)
Representative John A. Torbett (Rep)
Representative Harry Warren (Rep)
Representative Chris Whitmire (Rep)
Representative Michael H. Wray (Dem)