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‘Eli’s Law,’ Bill to put child abusers on registry passes house

Posted at 10:03 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 22:05:58-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Tuesday was a big day for bills in the General Assembly. It’s called Crossover day; bills that did not pass either chambers by Tuesday died for the GA session.

It was a good day for a Hanover mom and a bill she helped create called Eli’s Law, which passed the house Tuesday, unanimously.

"I cried for probably 10 minutes,” Courtney Maddox said. “I was just so proud."

The bill that would put convicted felons who intentionally hurt small children and leave lasting damage, on the same registry that already includes sex offenders.

Maddox’s son Eli was severely injured by a family friend on Christmas Eve of 2010. The man convicted of the crime was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with 11 years suspended.

That sentence troubled Maddox.

"We felt like those who permanently injure children with the intent to kill or permanent damage belong on that registry," she said.

Eli was immobile for six months after his January 2011 surgery, but slowly began to develop motor skills.  Now, while he has limited movement in his left arm, he's an otherwise typical five year old boy.

Maddox said she's a little more nervous about her bill's chances when it gets to the senate.

Now that the bill has passed the house it will make its way through the senate before it goes to the governor's desk.