NKY mom ‘heartbroken’ by 3-year-old’s case pushes for child abuse registry
BELLEVUE, KY – A Northern Kentucky mother said cases like her daughter’s, and a case from last week in Butler County, are the reason she’s fighting to create a child abuse registry in Kentucky.
The new 2018 bill has been dubbed ‘Sophie and Kylie Jo’s Law’
She said her daughter was abused by her babysitter at just four months old.
Jennifer Diaz said her heart is broken for the family of Hannah Wesche.
She worked with lawmakers in Kentucky last year to help create a child abuse registry, but the bill died.
Now, she is working with them again and hopes a new bill could make it a reality.
“Society needs to know who these horrible human beings are,” Diaz said.
Jennifer and her daughter, Sophie, have been sharing a story of abuse for years, hoping to save young ones from being hurt by someone they trust.
“We were fortunate that, you know, we’re survivors. My child is a survivor,” Diaz said.
Sophie is in preschool these days, but she was four months old when her babysitter, Desiree Rankin, abused her, sending her to the hospital.
Rankin was convicted and sentenced in the case.
Jennifer said her heart broke when she saw 3-year-old Hannah’s story.
Investigators said Wesche was abused in Butler County on Thursday, to the point she isn’t expected to survive.
She’s currently in intensive care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and her family says she is brain dead.
Hannah’s babysitter, Lindsay Partin, was arrested but is out of jail.
Jennifer said she prays for Hannah’s family.
“You fight, you fight and get that justice that child deserves and just keep fighting,” Diaz said.
Diaz and her daughter are fighting too, to stop babysitters who’ve been convicted in similar crimes from ever doing it again.
Last year, Diaz worked with lawmakers in Kentucky to help create a child abuser registry.
She testified in Frankfort, but the 2017 bill died.
Now, she’s working with lawmakers in the 2018 session.
She testified just last week, with Sophie by her side.
“I’ll go 100 times if I have to, you know, whatever it takes to pass this law, it’s going to get passed,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer said the registry would operate much like the sex offender registry, with information online.
She said there are some big hurdles ahead, including figuring out ways to pay for the registry everyone can agree on.
The new bill has been dubbed “Sophie and Kylie Jo’s Law,” in honor of the two girls who were abused by their babysitters.
It has now been referred to the House Rules Committee.