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Monday, October 3, 2016

Representative Dennis Keene Appointed to Child Abuse Task Force

The Diaz' helped pushed for Sophie's Law. Their babysitter was found guilty by way of Alford plea, of child abuse in February 2016. FTM file. 
On the heels of filing "Sophie's Law" to provide an online registry of child abusers, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced that he has appointed Representative Dennis Keene to the House Task Force on Child Abuse and Exploitation Prevention, which will examine and propose omnibus legislation designed to protect Kentucky’s children.

Bellevue resident, Jennifer Diaz, said daughter, Sophie, was abused at the hands of her in-home babysitter. Desiree Rankin was sentenced to three months in jail as a result of pleading guilty to those charges, via an Alford plea. She was sentenced in February of this year

As a result of that trial, Diaz said ultimately she wanted other families to be aware of these offenses when hiring childcare help.

RELATED: Newport Woman Sentenced in Child Abuse Case 

“I look forward to serving on this important task force to look for ways to make sure our children have all they need, and at the top of that list is their very safety,” said Representative Keene. “This task force will look for ways to see what more we can do to protect Kentucky’s children wherever they are, whether at home, on the playground, at camp or school or anywhere in-between.  The goal is to close any potential loopholes and further prevent abuse and exploitation.”  
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The bipartisan task force will be comprised of legislators who have championed legislation in the past designed to protect children.  Those are state Representatives Linda Belcher, Regina Bunch, Tom Burch, Dennis Keene, Kim King, Darryl Owens, Rita Smart and Addia Buchner.

“Now is the time to rise above partisan politics and unite to protect our children,” Speaker Stumbo said.  “Safeguarding our children’s future is not a Democratic or Republican issue.  We have the potential now to come up with comprehensive legislation that will better protect children.”

The task force is scheduled to hold its first meeting on October 20th, from 10 a.m-12 p.m., in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex.

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