A.R.S 13-3623(A) Interpretation

The language of A.R.S § 13-3623(A) is clear and unambiguous. the title, child abuse, "summarizes the statute as dealing with a single offense." Forrester, 134 Ariz. at 448, 657 P.2d at 436.

Within the first paragraph, the statute plainly provides three ways--or means--of committing child abuse. They include:

(1) causing a child to suffer a physical injury;

(2) having the care or custody of a child, causing or permitting the person or health of the child to be injured;

(3) having the care or custody of a child, causing or permitting the child to be placed in a situation where the person or health of the child is endangered. § 13-3623(A).

The three means are not repugnant to each other because proof of one "does not disprove the other." Manzanedo, 210 Ariz. 292,9, 110 P.3d at 1028.

Moreover, § 13-3623(A) "focuses on a single harm to the victim," and the three means "merely provide different ways of causing that single harm." State v. Paredes-Solano, 223 Ariz. 284,14, 222 P.3d 900, 906 (App. 2009); see also In re Jeremiah T., 212 Ariz. 30,12, 126 P.3d 177, 181 (App. 2006).

The child-abuse statute is therefore similar to the theft statute addressed in Forrester. See Paredes-Solano, 223 Ariz. 284,14, 222 P.3d at 906 (theft statute focuses on single harm: "deprivation of control over one's property").