New law hits hard at anyone in state, BK who shakes or throws a child

A new law goes into effect Wednesday punishing anyone in the state who physically hurts a baby by shaking, slamming or throwing him or her.

BROOKLYN - A new law goes into effect Wednesday punishing anyone in the state who physically hurts a baby by shaking, slamming or throwing him or her. Cynthia's Law amends the penal law by creating the new crime of reckless assault of a child, a Class-D violent felony assault. Those convicted under the law will serve between two and seven years in prison. Governor Pataki (R-NY) says it closes the loophole that existed when adults caused serious injury by shaking a child, but was difficult to legally prosecute the abuser if it couldn't be proven intentional.Officials say they will also try to educate the public about the dangers of shaking young children. Doctors say violently shaking a child can cause traumatic brain hemorrhages, blindness, paralysis and death. Four-month-old Preston Hertzog of Brooklyn suffered brain damage from what officials said were injuries related to Shaken Baby Syndrome. He eventually died from his injures. His parents were questioned by police but never charged.

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