Sen. Roach calls for more penalties in child abuse cases
November 10, 2008 · Updated 6:43 PM
State Sen. Pam Roach, Auburn-R, called for additional penalties in the crimes of criminal mistreatment in the first and second degrees.
Roach, a member of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, said she will present to that committee a proposal to increase penalties for abuse against children.
“It is absolutely outrageous that individuals who abuse their child every day for 1,000 days could only be charged with one count each of criminal mistreatment in the first and second degrees,” Roach said.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterburg announced the filing of accusations against Jon Earl Pomeroy and Rebecca Arwen Long, each of whom was charged with one count each of first and second degree criminal mistreatment.
The Carnation couple accused of starving their 14-year-old daughter recently pleaded not guilty to those charges in King County Superior Court.
If convicted, Pomeroy and Long each face a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison. The couple were released from the King County Jail last month after each posted a $20,000 bond.
Roach said it is time to go even further.
“I have talked with the King County Prosecutor’s Office, and they assured me that there may be additional crimes charged and exceptional sentences sought,” Roach said.
“Abusing a child everyday for 1,000 days should not mean just one count of ANY of these crimes is charged,” said Roach. “Theoretically, there could be one count of criminal misconduct for each day this girl suffered.”
Roach holds others also accountable.
“This 47-pound, 14-year-old girl called for help over three years ago,” Roach said. “There certainly is negligence on the part of Child Protective Services. They did not take action when this girl asked for help.”
“This child begged to leave the home,” said Roach. “She wanted to be put into foster care. Instead, the department left her starving for three years while imprisoned with her tormenters.”
“In this state, when a teenager wants to leave the home, they have the right to do so,” Roach said. “Consequently, she was being unlawfully detained and tortured.”