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6th anniversary of Minneapolis bridge collapse reminder of child abuse penalties

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - It was six years ago Thursday when an Interstate bridge collapsed in Minneapolis – a tragedy that led to stronger penalties for child abuse in Wisconsin.

That sounds hard to believe, but you can thank Michael Stoner of Spooner for that. He went on TV and told the world that he and his fiancée heroically swam from the Interstate 35-W bridge collapse to see their injured daughter in a Minneapolis hospital.

We later learned that Stoner attacked the girl at his home the same day, and his prison sentence – seven-and-a-half years – would have been longer had he attacked an adult.

Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden was surprised when he discovered that. Eventually, the governor and Legislature toughened Wisconsin’s child abuse penalties to make them equal to similar attacks on adults.

Thirteen people were killed in the Minneapolis bridge collapse during the afternoon rush hour on August 1st of 2007.