Justice For JJ: Pushing to Stregthen The Penalty for Child Abusers | News
BUFFALO, NY - JJ will look at you with his bright eyes and smile. It is exactly what his family wants to see since this two-year-old has been abused so badly that he still is afflicted with seizures. The abuser was his father.
Jeremy Bolvin is the toddler's father. He admitted to assaulting his son when he was just an infant. Bolvin is now in jail. He was sentenced to the maximum sentence for his assault charge, one-and-one-third to four-years.
The prison sentence angers little JJ's family. They say the baby got a life sentence.
JJ suffered "wrist, arm (injuries) two ribs, both knees, a femur and he had injuries consistent with being thrown violently onto a flat surface," said his uncle Kevin Retzer. "He suffered 11- fractures and shaken baby syndrome, said Retzer who cared for the baby for nine months along with his wife and children.
It was not easy to care for the infant who was having upwards of 200-seizures every day.
The family is pushing for a law to make the penalty tougher for people who abuse children.
New York State Senator Tim Kennedy has drafted Jay J's Law, named after the little Buffalo boy.
"The loophole that we are going to close through the introduction of Jay J's law ensures that an individual that commits this cowardly, despicable act of abusing a child is put away for a long time, said the Senator.
The proposed law spells out that "if a person has a previous conviction for assaulting a child under age 11 and does it again, it would be a class D felony would carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. If abuser does the same act a third time, the maximum penalty is 25-years.
JJ's father was granted a conditional discharge in 2007 when he was convicted of breaking the arm of his older son.
Retzer wants this law "so that it doesn't happen to another child. So that, a parent who has an anger issue, maybe he will get help. Maybe he will think, I don't want the felony, I don't want to go away for 10 years. I don't want a child dead."
Senator Kennedy now has a bill sponsor in the New York State Assembly. He hopes the bill moves from a Senate committee and is voted on by the full Senate this year.
"Most laws are named after someone who has died, we want this law to prevent that," said Retzer.
Below is a list of resources for anyone dealing with child abuse.