A Mishawaka woman is fighting for a law that would make passing a sexually transmitted disease to a victim during child molestation a crime in and of itself.
The woman’s grandson contracted herpes when he was molested by a family friend in late 2010 and early 2011, according to a report from the Elkhart Truth’s news partner, WNDU.com. He was 5 years old at the time.
Shelley, who did not want to give her surname, is petitioning for “Cameron’s Law” to be passed during the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
“It must be recognized as a separate crime, because it’s a life altering incident and it should be recognized as that, not just pushing it together with the whole group of molestation,” Shelley told WNDU. “That’s not right.”
Shelley said her grandson suffers outbreaks from the disease every four to six weeks and has difficulty treating them because the available doses of medication are designed for adults, not 5-year-olds.
“He has suffered greatly with it,” Shelley said. “They're blisters, like chicken pox, and they itch like chicken pox.”
Local lawmakers are getting behind her efforts.
“I'm certainly going to introduce some kind of legislation next session to see if this might be a penalty that warrants and enhancement,” Indiana Sen. John Broden, (D) South Bend, told WNDU. “When you have this sort of resulting effect on the victim it sort of makes the crime one that frankly is worse.”
Dale Bradshaw was sentenced to six years in prison for molesting the boy while staying at the family’s home. He could be released as early as June 2015.
While Cameron’s Law would not apply to her grandson’s case, Shelley told WNDU she hopes it will be passed before Bradshaw is released.
“I'm doing it for the kids,” she said. “I'm doing it for the other kids so that the next child that is hurt will have justice. They will have justice, the system failed Cameron.”