DENVER -- A bill designed to protect children like Ty Tesoriero was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis Monday.
The 10 year old's death, at the hands of his how father, became a flashpoint following a more than yearlong Denver7 Investigation.
“I’m just feeling that finally we’re accomplishing something that will help children in the future,” said Jing Tesoriero, Ty’s mother.
Governor Polis signed HB-1099 into law in a matter of seconds following Jing’s more than yearlong fight for change.
It requires the Department of Humans Services to create a domestic violence task force. The diverse group of people will then be tasked with creating a new definition of child abuse that includes domestic violence, in state law.
“Definitions matter because if we don't have a definition, then how do we fix it?” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Jefferson County.
The original version of the bill created a definition of domestic violence, but after pushback from some lawmakers, the bill sponsors rewrote the legislation. Under the amended version, the task force is now responsible with creating the definition by the end of 2022.
The same group will also make recommendations on how to better train case workers on how to spot all forms of domestic abuse.
“Jing Tesoriero lost her son, nothing can be harder than losing a child, but she was able to find some meaning and drive to make improvements and I think because of this work, they’ll be other mothers that won’t have to go through what you went through,” Gov. Polis said at the bill signing.
Denver7’s Investigative Team uncovered system-wide gaps in how human services dealt with domestic violence abusers, especially when that abuse isn’t physical as was the case with Jing and Ty.
“You brought the story to the public,” said Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Adams County.
Ty’s father, Anthony Tesoriero, was a convicted domestic violence abuser and continued to have coercive power and control over Jing and Ty.
The murder-suicide happened hours after a contentious court hearing in which Anthony learned he was going to lose custody of his son. But despite that, a Douglas County judge let Ty have one more night with his dad. It was a decision that cost Ty his life, and Jing Tesoriero, her son.
“I need to know that what happened to Ty, it meant something... it is not just a death of a child,” Jing said.
For Jing, she said the bill signing was for her son Ty.
“I think he would be jumping up and down in the governor’s office. He probably would be happy to see this because this would be his way of trying to help other kids,” she said.
The task force will have until late next year to come back with its recommendations.