CHAPTER 197

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 389

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CERTAIN CRIMES INVOLVING ABUSE OR NEGLECT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

Section 1. Amend Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section thereto to be designated as Section 615, which shall read as follows:

Ҥ 615. Assault by abuse or neglect; Class B felony.

(a) A person is guilty of assault by abuse or neglect when the person recklessly causes serious physical injury to a child:

(1) through an act of abuse and/or neglect of such child; or

(2) when the person has engaged in a previous pattern of abuse and/or neglect of such child.

(b) For the purposes of this section:

(1) ‘Child’ shall refer to any person who has not yet reached that person’s 14th birthday.

(2) ‘Abuse’ and “Neglect’ shall have the same meaning as set forth in § 1103 of this title.

“(3) ‘previous pattern’ of abuse and/or neglect shall mean 2 or more incidents of conduct:

(a) that constitute an act of abuse and/or neglect; and

(b) are not so closely related to each other or connected in point of time and place that they constitute a single event.

(c) A conviction is not required for an act of abuse or neglect to be used in prosecution of a matter under this section, including an act used as proof of a previous pattern as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. A conviction for any act of abuse or neglect, including one which may be relied upon to establish a previous pattern of abuse and/or neglect, does not preclude prosecution under this section. Prosecution under this section does not preclude prosecution under any other section of the Code.”

(d) Assault by abuse or neglect is a class B felony.”

Section 2. Amend Section 633, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (a) of that section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(a) A person is guilty of murder by abuse or neglect in the second degree when, with criminal negligence, the person causes the death of a child:

(1) through an act of abuse and/or neglect of such child; or

(2) when the person has engaged in a previous pattern of abuse and/or neglect of such child.”

Section 3. Amend Section 633, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (c) of that section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(c) A conviction is not required for an act of abuse or neglect to be used in prosecution of a matter under this section, including an act used as proof of a previous pattern as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. A conviction for any act of abuse or neglect, including one which may be relied upon to establish a previous pattern of abuse and/or neglect, does not preclude prosecution under this section. Prosecution under this section does not preclude prosecution under any other section of the Code.”

Section 4. Amend Section 633(d), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking the phrase “and/or” as it appears in that subsection and substituting in lieu thereof the word “or”.

Section 5. Amend Section 634, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (a) of that section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(a) A person is guilty of murder by abuse or neglect in the first degree when the person recklessly causes the death of a child:

(1) through an act of abuse and/or neglect of such child; or

(2) when the person has engaged in a previous pattern of abuse and/or neglect of such child.”

Section 6. Amend Section 634, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (c) of that section in its entirety and substituting n lieu thereof the following:

“(c) A conviction is not required for an act of abuse or neglect to be used in prosecution of a matter under this section, including an act used as proof of a previous pattern as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. A conviction for any act of abuse or neglect, including one which may be relied upon to establish a previous pattern of abuse and/or neglect, does not preclude prosecution under this section. Prosecution under this section does not preclude prosecution under any other section of the Code.”

Section 7. Amend Section 4201(c), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by inserting between the phrases “§ 614 Assault on a Sports Official” and “§ 629 Vehicular Assault in the First Degree” the following:

“§ 615. Assault by Abuse”.

Section 8. Amend Section 4214(b) of Title 11 of the Delaware Code by inserting between the phrases “§ 613 Assault in the First Degree” and “Former § 763 Rape in the Second Degree” the following:

“§ 615. Assault by Abuse”.

Approved July 20,1999