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DA Wants Tougher Punishments For Abusers

District Attorney

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood wants to increase the punishment for people who commit serial physical abuse against children, the elderly, and the disabled.

LaHood made the announcement on Wednesday.  He pointed out that if there are no broken bones, a severed liver, ruptured organs, etc., they can only charge suspected abusers with a third degree felony, which means only up to 10 years in prison.

LaHood is proposing four changes to the penal code, Chapter 22.04

“No. 1: long-term abuse; this relates to multiple incidents over time or multiple victims within one incident,” said LaHood. “It would now be a first degree felony versus a third degree felony,” LaHood says.

He pointed to the case of two children who were chained and tied up in a backyard earlier this year.

Other proposed changes include long-term abuse with serious injury.  It would increase the punishment from 5 to 99 years or life to 15 to 99 years or life.  A person who commits abuse with a prior conviction or abuses a child under six years old would also be charged with a first degree felony.

Members of the Bexar County legislative delegation will take this proposal to Austin.