2006 Code of Virginia § 18.2-371.1 - Abuse and neglect of children; penalty; abandoned infant

18.2-371.1. Abuse and neglect of children; penalty; abandoned infant.

A. Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a childunder the age of 18 who by willful act or omission or refusal to provide anynecessary care for the child's health causes or permits serious injury to thelife or health of such child shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. Forpurposes of this subsection, "serious injury" shall include but not belimited to (i) disfigurement, (ii) a fracture, (iii) a severe burn orlaceration, (iv) mutilation, (v) maiming, (vi) forced ingestion of dangeroussubstances, or (vii) life-threatening internal injuries.

B. 1. Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of achild under the age of 18 whose willful act or omission in the care of suchchild was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard forhuman life shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

2. If a prosecution under this subsection is based solely on the accusedparent having left the child at a hospital or rescue squad, it shall be anaffirmative defense to prosecution of a parent under this subsection thatsuch parent safely delivered the child to a hospital that provides 24-houremergency services or to an attended rescue squad that employs emergencymedical technicians, within the first 14 days of the child's life. In orderfor the affirmative defense to apply, the child shall be delivered in amanner reasonably calculated to ensure the child's safety.

C. Any parent, guardian or other person having care, custody, or control of aminor child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual meansthrough prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognizedchurch or religious denomination shall not, for that reason alone, beconsidered in violation of this section.

(1981, c. 568; 1988, c. 228; 1990, c. 638; 1993, c. 628; 2003, cc. 816, 822;2006, c. 935.)

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