A St. Clair Shores mother advocating for a public, online registry listing people convicted of child abuse in Michigan is expected to speak today at the sentencing for a Warren woman, who pleaded no contest to second-degree child abuse in the near-fatal assault of the mother’s then 1-year-old son.
Erica Hammel, 26, intends to address a Macomb County Circuit Court where Rachel Edwards, 32, will be sentenced in the assault on Hammel’s son, Wyatt Rewoldt, in 2013, that left the boy with lingering health issues.
Edwards could be sentenced from nearly three years to 10 years in prison.
Unbeknownst to Hammel at the time of her son’s assault, Edwards had pleaded no contest to third-degree child abuse in 2011 and was found guilty by a Warren district court jury of fourth-degree child abuse in 2013. Days after the jury verdict, Wyatt was assaulted.
The children in the abuse cases were young sons of men Edwards was dating at the time. In Wyatt’s case, Edwards was dating Wyatt’s father, who was going through a divorce with Hammel and had overnight visits with his son.
Following her mother’s intuition, Hammel said she did some online searches looking for information about Edwards, but did not find the convictions.
She said a public online registry for those convicted of child abuse, such as the one she is proposing, could have helped her find the information she needed to possibly prevent the abuse to her son.
Hammel’s effort was reported in Sunday’s Free Press, after which she hit the 10,000 mark on her www.change.org petition for her proposed child abuse registry.