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Maximum sentence for felony child abuse could double

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Based on a case in northern Idaho last year, Idaho lawmakers are looking into doubling the maximum sentence for injuring a child.

Sagle Republican Sen. Joyce Broadsword wants lawmakers to increase the maximum for felony injury to a child from 10 to 20 years.  Her proposal has been approved by the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee and will now be printed by legislative services.  Broadsword is backing the stiffer penalty because of a Kyra Wine, a 3-year-old girl who was abused by her mother’s boyfriend, Charles W. Smith, last June.  In March, Smith was sentenced to 10 years in jail by a northern Idaho court.

Broadsword said prosecutors couldn’t get a longer sentence for Smith.  “Because the abuser would not admit what he did, the most the judge could give the perpetrator was 10 years,” Broadsword said.  “There are some instances when the penalty is not as bad as the crime, and this is one of those cases in my opinion.  This 3-year-old lost both feet, one kidney, and one finger.  She’ll never grow hair on the top of her head.  And the man that did it gets out of prison in less than 10 years.”  Authorities could not identify the exact cause of the girl's injuries.

Broadsword said the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association supports increasing the maximum possible sentencing and the Idaho State Judiciary has no problems with the proposal.  Broadsword couldn't say how many people in Idaho are convicted of felony injury to a child each year.

Read more on Kyra Wine’s case at the Spokesman-Review.

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The current maximum sentence is 10 years, The current maximum sentence is 10 years, The current maximum sentence is 10 years, The current maximum sentence is 10 years, The current maximum sentence is 10 years
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  1. stebbijo

    Broadsword couldn’t say how many people in Idaho are convicted of felony injury to a child each year. She can’t tell you how many didn’t get caught either.

    It wasn’t that long ago Broadsword did not make a peep when her cohort “blocked legislation that would have ended Idaho’s distinction as the only state in the nation with no system for reviewing child deaths.” She supported the decision and followed her “chairman’s lead.” Sources tell us,”Senate Health and Welfare Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, said Idaho doesn’t need to review child deaths if every other state is already doing it.” It wasn’t cost effective to initiate this type of safeguard for children?


    Now Broadsword jumps on the bandwagon for protecting children by increasing prison time? Why? Because, she needs to do something to keep herself in public favor with something they are sure will go through and make them all look and “feel good”. Last year she cut the Women’s Commission and at the same time they cannot account for the runaway spending and waste of the agency she and Lodge represents – Health and Welfare. But, Lodge who is also on the judiciary committee can push this legislation through.

    … not that Kyra’s abuser doesn’t deserve more time. No harm in this bill, at least they are doing ‘something’ that recognizes this travesty.

  2. Pingback: Stronger child abuse sentencing will see Senate vote « Idaho Reporter

  3. sonya dirickson

    Idaho laws leave so much to be said. My son, a senior was dating a freshman they go to school together and somebody not family who I thought should matter, turned them in. My son is now in more trouble than some young men who have actually killed somebody while intoxicated. He did make a mistake but the young girl was not a victim but a very aggressive young girl.

  4. maria

    Hi my name is maria I wanted to know what is the max sumone can get for.. sexual exploitation of a child and injury to a child in the state of idaho