Bellevue mother fighting for child abuse offender registry

BELLEVUE, KY (FOX19) - A Bellevue mother is fighting to bring change to Kentucky after her daughter was abused by her babysitter. She is calling for a child abuse offender registry.

Sophie Diaz just celebrated her 3rd birthday and is full of life and energy. However, the family is still healing from emotional trauma after finding out that she was being abused by her daycare provider in 2014.

When Sophie when she was just 6-months-old she was taken to the hospital after the sitter said she was having a seizure.

"After examining her and not finding seizure activity she began to bruise on her ear," said Sophie's mother, Jennifer Diaz.

Doctors said Sophie suffered from non accidental trauma, which is abuse.

"Until this day I don't know exactly what happened to her. It definitely was progressing and I'm very thankful and grateful that nothing else happened to my child," Diaz said.

The babysitter, Desiree Rankin, took a plea deal and was sentenced to three months in jail. Now Sophie's mother is taking action to prevent this from happening to another child.

Diaz is working with lawmakers to create a child abuse offender registry. If anyone is convicted of child abuse or neglect they would have to register online making the information easily accessible to the public.

"If that woman was to even try to work in some place that involved children or wanted to watch children in her home people would have that immediate access to find out if that person is on the list or not," said Diaz.

This year, State Representative Addia Wuchner introduced House Bill 129 known as Sophie's Law. It passed in Kentucky's House, but failed the senate.

Wuchner said currently she is refining the legislation.

"Some crimes are more heinous than others. We are working out how long certain offenders would remain on the registry. Is there a process for coming off the registry or appealing the registry," she said.

Diaz said she isn't giving up the fight to make the child abuse offender registry a Kentucky law.

"I know it's going to happen. I can feel it in my bones but it takes time and I'm okay with that. This is for our children. This is for the children of Kentucky," she said.

Wuchner said that she plans to re-introduce the bill during the next session in January.

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