Omaree's Law on child abuse heads to House floor

Posted at: 02/18/2014 8:14 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Police said Omaree Varela was kicked to death by his mother in December.
Police said Omaree Varela was kicked to death by his mother in December.
Photo: Facebook

State lawmakers are just days away from the end of the 2014 legislative session. One of the most talked about bills is Omaree's Law, which now heads to the House floor.

The House judiciary voted in favor of the legislation 13-4 on Monday night. If the bill passes, it would require the state's Children Youth and Families Department to take kids into custody who show specific signs of abuse.

The bill was drafted in memory of Omaree Varela, the 9 year-old boy who was allegedly kicked to death by his mother in December.

House Speaker Ken Martinez introduced the bill, which would require CYFD to take kids into custody immediately if they have burns, multiple bruises and bite marks.

The bill would also require parents with a history of drug abuse and neglect claims to complete counseling before getting their kids back.

According to the proposed legislation, a hearing must be held within 48 hours after a child is taken into custody.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned CYFD had a history with Omaree and his mom, Synthia Varela-Casaus, but that there were no open cases at the time of Omaree's death.