U.S Congressman Robert Pittenger is working on federal legislation to increase the penalties for felony child abuse after being moved by the case of a Union County 3-year-old who authorities say was beaten badly by her stepfather last year.
Kilah Davenport was hospitalized last May with severe brain damage and a fractured skull after being left in the care of her stepfather Joshua Houser.
Pittenger met the family and has taken up their cause for tougher child abuse laws.
It really moves you when you go out and meet with the family and see the state this child will be in for the rest of her life, he said.
Kilahs story first inspired state legislators to introduce bills, known as Kilahs Law, in the N.C. House and Senate that would increase the penalties for five child-abuse related felonies.
For the worst cases, an offender who currently could serve up to 15 years in prison could serve up to nearly 33 years.
Houser remains in jail on $1 million bond.