UPDATE: WV. Governor signs "Emmaleigh's Law" to increase child abuse penalties

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's Governor has signed a bill strengthening the penalty for someone convicted of child abuse and neglect.

Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 288, known as "Emmaleigh's Law," on Tuesday.

The new law increases the penalty for someone convicted of child abuse causing death to 15 years to life in prison. Previously, the maximum sentence had been 10 to 40 years.

The bill is named after Emmaleigh Barringer, a 10-month-old girl who died in October from a skull fracture.

Her mother's boyfriend, 32-two-year-old Benjamin Taylor, was charged with first-degree sexual assault in the case. A murder charge was filed after Emmaleigh died.

Taylor allegedly sexually assaulted her in the basement of the Ripley residence he shared with the baby's mother.

Taylor is scheduled to go on trial August 8th in Jackson County.

He is being held without bond at the South Central Regional Jail.

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