An Oregon couple left their 1-year-old son with a babysitter, a trusted friend who they felt was part of the family, so they could go out for the night. The next morning, they found their child had been badly abused by the sitter. They were shocked, however, when the guilty party got off scot free, and now the couple is trying to have the law changed.
Joshua Marbury and Alicia Quinney were shocked when they woke up the morning after their night out. Their one-year-old son, Jacob, was covered in bruises. The couple rushed him to the hospital where the doctors told the parents their son had been beaten by someone. The doctors even pointed out red, hand-shaped marks on Jacob’s face and body. The abuse was so bad, the doctors said it could have killed the infant.
The parents knew their babysitter had to be behind it, and confronted him. After a few days, the sitter confessed. The parents called authorities, but two months later the prosecutor called Marbury with some shocking news. Even though the abuser confessed, all charges had been dropped.
According to an Oregon law, they couldn’t prosecute the babysitter because Jacob, the only witness to the actual abuse, couldn’t talk and share what happened.
“They have to be able to prove substantial pain to be able to prosecute even tho the Deputy D.A. says they know the babysitter did it. They can’t prove substantial pain because baby Jacob can’t speak,” Quinney wrote on Facebook.
The couple feel something is seriously wrong with the justice system, as such laws give abusers license to do whatever they want to babies who can’t talk yet. “Something needs to be done. NOBODY can just hit a child and more to just get away with it because the child can’t verbally tell you,” wrote Mabury on Facebook.
People are now calling for that law, which was enacted in 2012, to be changed. A Change.org petition reads, “Oregon’s current law on child abuse (2012) makes it very difficult to file charges that involve victims who are unable to speak. This includes infants and toddlers, but also the victims with disabilities causing them to be non-verbal.”
The petition received nearly 60,000 signatures.
Photo: Viral Nova