Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara Proposes Stricter Penalties for Child Manslaughter Following Tragic Case of 5-Year-Old Charlotte Buskey in Schenectady

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has introduced a new bill aimed at toughening penalties for manslaughter resulting in the death of a child. The proposed legislation seeks to elevate such crimes to Class A-1 Felonies, aligning them with murder offenses and carrying the heaviest sentencing.

The initiative stems from the heartbreaking case of Charlotte Buskey, a vibrant 5-year-old girl who tragically died from starvation in her Elmer Avenue home in Schenectady. Charlotte's father, Robert Buskey, faced charges of second-degree manslaughter, classified as only a Class C felony, along with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

"It's cases like Charlotte's that highlight the need for legislative action to ensure justice for victims of such heinous crimes," said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. "Those responsible for neglect or abuse leading to the death of a child must face the toughest penalties and full accountability under the law."

Currently, manslaughter resulting in a child's death is treated as a Class C felony, without differentiation from adult deaths.

Assemblyman Santabarbara's bill seeks to rectify this discrepancy by explicitly designating such crimes as Class A-1 Felonies, ensuring maximum sentencing under New York State's guidelines.

"Charlotte's story emphasizes how vulnerable our children are and the need for stronger penalties for those who harm them," added Assemblyman Santabarbara. "This legislation sends a clear message: if you harm a child through neglect or abuse, you will face the toughest penalties and be fully accountable under the law."