NEWARK — A city man is wanted on charges of beating a pregnant woman, resulting in her child never getting a chance at life.

Joanisson DeSouza, 31, is facing domestic violence charges of aggravated assault, criminal mischief and weapons offenses in the Monday morning incident.

Police were called to University Hospital after the battered pregnant woman sought treatment, police said. She gave birth prematurely and her baby was pronounced dead, officials said.

DeSouza remains at large. He is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 155 pounds, with a light complexion, brown hair and eyes.

DeSouza is not facing homicide charges. Unlike 38 other states, New Jersey does not have a fetal homicide law.

Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, R-Ocean, has repeatedly introduced a bill (A2855) that would list the killing of an unborn baby in certain cases as a homicide alongside murder, manslaughter and death by auto.

The proposed Motherhood Violence Act would exempt abortions or deaths resulting from normal medical procedures but would apply to deaths resulting from serious bodily injury to the mother.

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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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