Dominick's Law could help curb child abuse

Jordin Parkes

Three-year-old Jordin Parkes fights for his life, while his mother is lodged in jail. 23-year-old Aleesha Wyatt was charged with first-degree child abuse Thursday, because prosecutors say she didn't protect her young son from her abusive boyfriend.

"She just put him in a very bad position and that's why we charged her,â?? Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.

Wyatt's boyfriend, Robert Martin III, was charged with the same crime earlier this month.

â??We know for sure there was probably some shaking and at some point the child was slammed down against something, because the back of his head hit something causing that injury, so that we know,â?? Leyton said.

Jordin had bleeding in his brain and fractured bones. While he's still alive in critical condition, people are drawing comparisons between this toddler and Dominick Calhoun, the 4-year-old who was beaten and killed by his mother's boyfriend in 2010.

And it's the law Dominick's death prompted, Dominickâ??s Law, that Leyton plans to use in the case against Wyatt and Martin.

"It's changed the way that we look at child abuse,â?? Rick Calhoun said. Rick is Dominickâ??s grandfather. He helped draft Dominickâ??s Law. The law now puts first-degree child abusers in prison for life and adds penalties for people who commit abuse in front of other children, as well as those who ignore and fail to report it.

â??Because of [Dominickâ??s] sacrifice, yeah. There is no excuse no more, there's going to be no more toleration,â?? Calhoun said.

A tougher law can help curb child abuse, but Leyton said, until teenagers and young parents are better educated about raising children, this epidemic will continue to claim young victims.

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