41 Action News investigation leads to proposed change in Kansas child abuse laws

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas State Representative Louis Ruiz has introduced “Adrian’s Act,” which is new legislation designed to strengthen child abuse laws in the state of Kansas. This legislation is in response to a three-part 41 Action News investigation that shed light on current laws related to reporting child abuse.

In 2015, 7-year-old Adrian Jones died at his Kansas City, Kansas home after being tortured for months by his step-mother and father. After their arrests, the 41 Action News investigators uncovered proof of another adult living in the home during Adrian's abuse.  KSHB obtained surveillance video from inside the residence showing Adrian hiding from this other adult. That person was later identified as the boy's great uncle. Kansas City, Kansas Police said they did not have enough evidence to arrest this relative. In Kansas, there is no law that requires people to report child abuse happening in the home in which they live. After her reports aired on KSHB, investigative reporter Jessica McMaster traveled to Topeka, Kansas, and shared this tragic story with Rep. Ruiz.

“What happened to this boy was a tragedy and we want to make sure this never happens to another child,” said Carrie Hofmann, news director for KSHB.  “We hope lawmakers will see the benefits of Adrian’s law and pass it quickly.”

If passed, Adrian's Act would require adults living in a Kansas home where a child is being abused to report this abuse to authorities. If they fail to do so, it could result in criminal prosecution.

Video links to KSHB’s three-part investigation are below.

Part 1: Exclusive surveillance footage captures last days of tortured KCK boy's life

Part 2: Grandmother of tortured KCK boy wants records unsealed, seeks truth about his death

Part 3: Exclusive surveillance video shows relative lived in home during tortured KCK boy's abuse

 

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