Current child abuse laws not adequate enough to punish perpetrators, officer says

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) —  Dothan Police Officer Lacy Schulmerich spoke at the Houston County Republican Women luncheon Thursday about the child abuse laws from the law enforcement perspective.

“One of the things we are looking at is the child abuse statute under the Alabama criminal code,” Lacy Schulmerich said. “I think most people just assume it’s very strong and clear it’s lacking in the wording and defining what child abuse is under the law.”

There are many different forms of child abuse and laws vary on the kind. According to Schulmerich, things need to be more defined for both investigators and jurors.

“There is no distinguishing,” Schulmerich said. ” There’s no more serious offenses. All of our laws have degrees. They usually start off as our assaults thirds, kind of minor, and if you hit someone and leave a mark, then we are going to move up to something more serious. Maybe you caused serious physical injury, used a weapon. That’s going to increase it even more if there was serious physical injury, but with child abuse, there is one law that’s all we have.”

Schulmerich said if you do know of a case of child abuse, report it immediately.

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