The case towards 4 Los Angeles County social employees accused of kid abuse within the beating demise of an Eight-year-old boy below their supervision can transfer forward, a choose dominated Monday.
Choose Mary Lou Villar discovered that enough proof existed to cost the 4 within the demise of Gabriel Fernandez, who was discovered useless at his mom’s house in 2013. Prosecutors beforehand alleged that the 2 social employees and two supervisors minimized the abuse Fernandez suffered, regardless of routine visits to his Los Angeles-area house and warnings from his trainer that he was at risk.
Stefanie Rodriguez and Patricia Clement, social employees for the Division of Youngsters and Household Providers, and supervisors Kevin Bom and Gregory Merritt all face one rely every of kid abuse, in addition to tampering prices over accusations that they falsified stories of escalating abuse of the boy.
Fernandez was discovered useless in Might 2013 with accidents that included a fractured cranium, damaged ribs and burns over his physique.
James Barnes, the lawyer for Gregory Merritt, referred to as the prosecution of social employees for hurt finished to a toddler by dad and mom “unprecedented” in a cellphone interview Monday.
“It has critical penalties for anybody who practices as a social employee not solely in Los Angeles County however throughout the nation,” he stated, as a result of it might expose social employees to felony legal responsibility, and in social care “nobody has a crystal ball.”
Fernandez’s mom, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, had been charged in 2014 with homicide within the kid’s beating demise. The trials for the pair haven’t but been scheduled.
The Los Angeles County District Lawyer’s workplace didn’t launch a press release Monday, and a spokesperson declined to make any of the attorneys engaged on the case out there for interview.The social employees and their supervisors will reappear in court docket on April three.
(Reporting by Tom James in Seattle; Enhancing by Patrick Enright and Leslie Adler)