In New Mexico, many will remember the horrific death of five-month-old Brianna. She died from child abuse injuries including physical beating and rape. Two family members, the grandmother and uncle, knew that Breanna was being abused by other family members and did not act to save the baby’s life, but rather did nothing to stop it. Tragically, baby Brianna died from the abuse and torture delivered by her mother, uncle and the baby’s father.
State Senator Mary Jane Garcia (D – Dona Ana) is working to make failure to report child abuse by a family member a felony. This felony will result in a prison sentence. Senator Mary Jane Garcia proposes that if the child lives through the abuse, the non-reporting felon will receive up to 18 months in jail. If the child dies from the abuse, the non-reporting felon will go to prison for three years.
This piece of legislation will apply to family members, not mandated reporters. Mandated reporters already have guidelines in place for reporting child abuse.