SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) –Dominick Calhoun’s family has been waiting for this day for a very long time.
Two years ago, the four-year-old was tortured to death in one of the worst cases of child abuse in Michigan history. But his death was not in vain.
Legislation named in honor of Dominick will soon land on Governor Rick Snyder’s desk, making the state’s child abuse laws some of the toughest in the country.
In April 2010, Dominick was slowly beaten to death over a four-day period by his mother’s boyfriend. No one, including his mother, did anything to help the little blonde-haired boy as he begged for help while Brandon Hayes pummeled, kicked and burned him relentlessly.
Hayes is serving two life sentences. Dominick’s mom, Corrine Baker is serving 13 to 30. After Dominick’s death, his paternal grandfather and numerous supporters went to work to protect other children from abuse through Dominick’s Law.
Here’s what it does. It stiffens the penalties for first and second degree child abuse. It also makes it a crime to commit abuse in front of another child and it makes it a crime for those who witness child abuse to stand by and do nothing.
Dominick’s Law finally passed both houses of the legislature on Thursday. It is expected to be signed by Snyder as early as next week.