Pa. House votes to toughen child endangerment penalties

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state House of Representatives has passed legislation to increase penalties for endangering a child.

Under House Bill 74, the crime would be a third-degree felony if a child was placed at risk of death or serious injury and a second-degree felony if it was part of a continuous course of conduct.

A third-degree felony carries up to seven years in prison and a second-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

If the child is under the age of six, the grading would be increased one level. A first-degree felony, for repeatedly endangering a young child, would have a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Under current law, child endangerment is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by to to five years in prison, and a course of endangerment is a third-degree felony.

Lawmakers additionally passed legislation to increase the penalty for concealing the death of a child from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

House Bill 424 was created in response to the disappearance of Caylee Anthony in Florida in 2008.

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