St. Clair Shores Mom Pushes for Child Abuse Registry

January 10, 2015 Abuse and Neglect Attorney

One-year-old Wyatt Rewoldt, was hospitalized and near death after suffering brain damage, allegedly at the hands of his father’s girlfriend. His mother, Erica Hammel, had early suspicions that the girlfriend was unfit to care for her son but a Google search on the girlfriend yielded no results.
After her son was injured, Hammel learned that the girlfriend had a prior history involving child abuse, including two convictions that led to probation. In turn, Hammel resolved to seek a change in the law so that the public can access a list of convicted child abusers just like they can for convicted sex offenders.
Last fall, Hammel started a petition on the internet for “Wyatt’s Law,” to create this child abuse registry. To date, she has collected nearly 6,000 signatures.
In addition, there was a successful letter writing campaign to state lawmakers. State Representative Sarah Roberts of St. Clair Shores and Senator Steve Bieda of Warren have pledged to introduce legislation in the next few weeks to take up this issue.
Wyatt has had three brain surgeries and now has a brain shunt to drain fluid. He has brain damage and the doctors are unable to give a long term prognosis or what degree of disability the boy faces. In November, the girlfriend, Rachel Edwards, was charged with second-degree child abuse.
Hammel stated she knows nothing about politics, but because of this experience she plans to be an advocate for abused children the rest of her life.