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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 13L: Wanton or reckless behavior creating a risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child; duty to act; penalty

Section 13L. For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:?

''Child'', any person under 18 years of age.

''Serious bodily injury'', bodily injury which results in a permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of a bodily function, limb or organ, or substantial risk of death.

''Sexual abuse'', an indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 under section 13B of chapter 265; aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 under section 13B1/2 of said chapter 265; a repeat offense under section 13B3/4 of said chapter 265; indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over under section 13H of said chapter 265; rape under section 22 of said chapter 265; rape of a child under 16 with force under section 22A of said chapter 265; aggravated rape of a child under 16 with force under section 22B of said chapter 265; a repeat offense under section 22C of said chapter 265; rape and abuse of a child under section 23 of said chapter 265; aggravated rape and abuse of a child under section 23A of said chapter 265; a repeat offense under section 23B of said chapter 265; assault with intent to commit rape under section 24 of said chapter 265; and assault of a child with intent to commit rape under section 24B of said chapter 265.

Whoever wantonly or recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child or wantonly or recklessly fails to take reasonable steps to alleviate such risk where there is a duty to act shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years.

For the purposes of this section, such wanton or reckless behavior occurs when a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his acts, or omissions where there is a duty to act, would result in serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard of the risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.