Two Grandmothers Fight to Open Pennsylvania’s Central Registry

Pennsylvania has provided Megan’s Law, a sex offender registry, where people can search out offenders by name, photograph and location. Unlike the sex offender registry, the child abuse central registry remains private. 

Since 2015, two Clinton County, Pennsylvania grandmothers, Donna M. Kshir and Lee ‘Cougardawn’ Roberts, have been fighting to make it happen. They believe opening the central registry will give parents the opportunity to protect their children from the unknown. The two started campaigning to open the child abuse central registry after 2-year-old Conner Bachuss lost his life to child abuse. The Kentucky toddler’s killer, Ronald Saunders II, had a very violent dating back to his time in the military, but his past was hidden on the private registry. After serving 5.5 years in prison, on a plea deal, for torturing and killing the toddler, Saunders would be released from prison and re-offend abusing another child within a month of his release. 

The measure would require the Pennsylvania State Police to open the current private computerized database of individuals convicted of child abuse offenses in the state, including their name, date of birth, photograph, the tier of the crime and the location the crime took place which is often needed to find court records. 

Ms. Kshir and Roberts meet with Pennsylvania State Representative Republican Stephanie Borowicz on May 4th seeking sponsorship. The duo has already met with Denise Maris, Democratic candidate for the 76th District for State Representative. Maris has shown her full support and if elected will sponsor the proposal and present it to the House on their behalf. 

If the bill is passed into law the duo wants to name the law Anson’s Law, after 9-year-old Anson Stover who suffered unspeakable abuse, was placed into a bathtub, and died from the injuries inflicted on him at the hands of his aunt. 

Ms. Kshir used her influence seeking Conner’s Law alongside of Conner’s mother, Mashanna Bachuss-Waggoner, to get justice for the toddler. Conner’s Law became law, with a signature from Governor Steve Beshear in March 2015. Manslaughter in the first degree, which carries a 10-20 year sentence, now includes fatal child abuse. Abusers have to serve 85 percent of that sentence before being released.

  • Photo: Donna Kshir, left, Lee Roberts, right.

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