COLUMBUS (WDTN) – A Dayton-area Ohio state representative introduced a bill to expand the violent offender database to include crimes against children.
Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) introduced “Jacob’s Law,” named after Jacob Alan Baker, a Dayton-area 2-year-old boy who was killed in August 2015 by a convicted child abuser.
Baker’s family was unaware of the assailant’s past, which included a conviction in a 2011 abuse of a child, breaking a baby girl’s ribs and ankle and fracturing her skull.
Perales says that he believes had a database been available to Baker’s family to screen the assailant, the tragedy could have been avoided.
“It is not only our civic responsibility, but our moral responsibility as well to look out for those who cannot look out for themselves,” Rep. Perales said. “House Bill 302 will do exactly that. Rarely does a single day go by without reading a news story about adults harming children – that is unacceptable. Jacob’s Law will create a database to log those who have been convicted, giving confidence to parents and relatives before introducing someone new into the family dynamic.”
The legislation, which is the result of years of negotiations and collaboration with Attorney General’s office and the Department of Jobs and Family Services, is also partially inspired by Indiana’s Kirk’s Law.
Baker’s grandmother and the chief advocate for the database, supports the bill and praises the collaboration on it.
“I am very pleased to see Jacob’s Law moving forward and would like to thank Rep Perales for his years of work with us, as well as the agencies involved for their support,” Tammy Jenkins said. “I am excited for future hearings and to have Jacob’s Law on the House floor for a vote.”
The bill has been referred to the House Criminal Justice committee and awaits a hearing.