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Local Delegate To Propose Child Abuse Prevention Bill

Frederick County legislator, Delegate Kathy Afzali is working with child advocates to create a bill that would keep children from falling through the cracks of the foster care system.
FREDERICK, Md. - "It's a heinous assault on a 21-month-old child," said Lt. Pennington, Frederick City Police.

"She did develop cerebral palsy based upon those injuries," said Charlie Smith, Maryland State's Attorney.

"She was very loving. She was a good girl," said Stephanie Williams, mother of deceased Anayah Williams.

Highly impactful words on a Frederick, Md. 21-month-old whose life came to an abrupt end.

The investigation as to how and why things unfolded the way they did is ongoing but we do know that little Anayah's death came days after being reunited with her biological parents, Stephanie and Frankie Williams. A couple with a history of abusing their children.

"There are certain legal procedures that the state has to follow in terms of attempting reunification," said Lynn Davis, child advocacy center director in Frederick, Md.

A federal prodcedure which in Anayah's case was fatal, but advocates and officials are joining together in the hopes of preventing situations like this from happening again.

"Since this incident with this precious girl in Frederick County, we've been working with the state's attorney here Charlie Smith and others to see if we can do something legislatively," said Delegate Kathy Afzali, Frederick County legislator.

Afzali says she's in the preliminary stages of the bill but the piece of legislation will put the child first above any rules like the reunification process and will assist officials in child abuse investigations.

"We want to make sure that we empower our state's attorney and our prosecutors to have the tools they need when they believe that a child is in danger," said Afzali.
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