A bill to expand Iowa’s child endangerment law to include live-in boyfriends cleared the Iowa House this morning. Under present law, only a parent or guardian can be prosecuted for child endangerment — a loophole exposed by the Shelby Duis case. Child endangerment charges against the boyfriend of Shelby’s mother were dismissed and a jury acquitted Jesse Wendelsdorf of murder and sexual abuse. Representative Dan Boddicker, a republican from Tipton, says the bill would let prosecutors charge live-in boyfriends as well as siblings, grandparents and others living in a household where a child is abused. He says it’s not directed to just men.Boddicker says the law must change because society’s changed with more and more out-of-wedlock births.The Senate approved the bill last week, so it now goes to Governor Tom Vilsack for his signature.
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