NC Legislators Approve Bill Doubling Max Sentence For Worst Child Abusers

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The General Assembly has finalized legislation requiring longer sentences for convicted child abusers in North Carolina, leaving it to Gov. Pat McCrory to sign into law.

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday for a bill to increase the maximum penalty for the most serious abuse charge from roughly 15 years to 33 years. A judge also would make clear on the offender's record a child was the victim.

The bill approved earlier by the House is named for Kilah Davenport, who was 3 years old when she received injuries last year that forced doctors to remove a part of her skull. Her family visited the Legislative Building to seek higher penalties.

Kilah's stepfather is charged with felony child abuse and faces a June court date.