Criminal code bill boosts penalty for child crimes
Legislation to reorganize Missouri's criminal laws also would give longer prison stints to people who sexually abuse or abandon children.
Under the bill, incest would carry additional jail time in child sex crimes. Parents who leave their children without proper care could also spend a decade more in jail if a child dies or is seriously injured.
The main focus of the legislation is the creation of additional classes of felonies and misdemeanors. But a child advocate says the increased punishments for crimes against children will have an impact on their lives.
The House and Senate passed the criminal code overhaul this week and must work out differences to pass an identical bill by May 16, when the session adjourns.