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Colo. lawmaker wants to make sure what happened to 10-year-old Ty Tesoriero never happens again

Posted: 6:20 PM, Oct 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-14 22:44:05-04
Jing Tesoriero and Ty Tesoriero.jpg

LONGMONT, Colo. — A Colorado House lawmaker can relate to 10-year-old Ty Tesoriero's tragic story.

Rep. Jonathan Singer has worked as a Boulder social services worker for four years before running for state office.

"My heart immediately sank. This is tragic, and we know that more and more of theses cases can be prevented," said Singer.

The Democratic lawmaker from Longmont has now vowed to use his power to make sure what happened to Ty, never happens again.

"We absolutely have to introduce legislation next year. We're going to look before we leap and make sure we're doing this the right way," he said.

Ty was murdered at the hands of his own father, Anthony Tesoriero, a known domestic violence abuser who bullied his way through the system. It would take Ty's mother, Jing Tesoriero, 15-months to get her day in court to fight for custody.

"I think we can look at a faster process for restricting parents' rights when there is a legitimate safety concern," said Singer.

Singer is calling for a top-to-bottom review, which Colorado's Department of Human Services is currently conducting.

"I know people want answers tomorrow -- I want answers tomorrow. But ultimately, if we're going to do justice for this case, we need to be thorough," he said.

In the meantime, Singer is considering proposing legislation that would force judges to go through more training. The judge in Ty's case was planning to give his mother custody but decided not to remove the child from his father's custody on the day of the hearing. It was a decision that would end up playing a direct role in his murder less than eight hours later.

"[We need to make] sure our family court system has better training for our judges to be able to recognize the signs and systems of domestic violence," Singer explained.

The Longmont lawmaker also wants to see a loophole in Colorado's gun law closed.

"Guns and domestic violence are a deadly mix, and we know that, and we've got the laws on the books. They just need to be enforced," he said.

In 2013, Colorado passed a law that bars people under most domestic violence protection orders from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition over the duration of the order. Oftentimes, federal law is triggered that would make that mandatory, but state district courts can also prohibit people from possessing or purchasing firearms even if the federal law isn’t triggered.

"These are the kind of things that don't leave your soul, and they affect an entire community, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure we do better, and that Ty's death will never be in vain," said Singer.

Singer also said he supports the idea of a dedicated family law court system, one where judges are experts in this one area, instead of the current system where judges rotate out terms in civil, probate, criminal, and family law.

"I think the biggest questions in all a low-tax state like Colorado, is do we have the money to do it right?" he explained. "Because if we do it wrong, we're going to end up with another situation and another funeral."

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