MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A local mother and the Macomb County Prosecutor are both pushing for an online child abuse registry in Michigan.
In 2013, Erica Hammel’s son, Wyatt, was abused so severely by her ex-husband’s girlfriend that he had a brain bleed and a fractured skull.
Hammel had her suspicions about Rachel Edwards, who is now in prison, but she had no idea Edwards had previous child abuse convictions.
“My concerns were right, my gut was right. The concerns I had were right, and there was nothing I could pull up on her,” Hammel said.
Hammel said a registry would help save children by allowing parents to see people who have been convicted of child abuse.
“This is an easy way to protect children,” Prosecutor Eric Smith said. “We can find out very quickly with a couple clicks if they have a prior child abuse conviction.”
Edwards was granted parole and will be released from prison in April. Hammel said this is the perfect time to create the registry, which would show convictions in the past 10 years.
“Wyatt has a life sentence for what she did to him and she doesn’t,” Hammel said.