Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–1101. Definition and penalty.

(a) A person commits the crime of cruelty to children in the first degree if that person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortures, beats, or otherwise willfully maltreats a child under 18 years of age or engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of bodily injury to a child, and thereby causes bodily injury.

(b) A person commits the crime of cruelty to children in the second degree if that person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(1) Maltreats a child or engages in conduct which causes a grave risk of bodily injury to a child; or

(2) Exposes a child, or aids and abets in exposing a child in any highway, street, field house, outhouse or other place, with intent to abandon the child.

(c)(1) Any person convicted of cruelty to children in the first degree shall be fined not more than $10,000 or be imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

(2) Any person convicted of cruelty to children in the second degree shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or be imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.


(Feb. 13, 1885, 23 Stat. 303, ch. 58, § 3; Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1322, ch. 854, § 814; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 7, 41 DCR 1639; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 201, 41 DCR 2608; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 211, 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-901.

1973 Ed., § 22-901.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 24-112.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $10,000” in (c)(1) and (c)(2).

Cross References

Corroboration of child witness testimony, necessity, see § 23-114.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 201 of the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-255, June 22, 1994, 41 DCR 4286).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 211 of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.