Social workers ordered to stand trial in Palmdale boy’s death

Social Worker to stand trial

LOS ANGELES –  Monday, Los Angeles County Court order  Two former social workers and their supervisors to stand trial on falsifying records and child abuse charges which involved the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy.  The mother of the child and then-boyfriend are charged with his murder.

On May 24, 2013 Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services fired Stepfanie Rodriquez, 31, Patricia Clement, 66, Kevin Bom, 37 and Gregory Merrit, 61 from their jobs following an internal investigation.

The DCFS works were all charged with one felony count each of child abuse and falsifying records.  If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.

Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre are expected to receive the death penalty by the District

Pearl Fernandez, 33, the boy’s mother and Isauro Aguirre, 36, her then-boyfriend are awaiting trial on a murder charge stemming from Fernandez’s son’s death.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar found ample evidence after a hearing brief closing statement by four of the five defense attorneys.  The social workers fail to protect the boy and had plenty of reason to suspect the boy might be in serious danger.

There were “Red flags that stem from case, by no referrals were made for a medical exam,” Villar Said.  Gabriel’s teach cited reports of injuries, and also took photos and a welfare office worker.

The judge said, “The abuse was clearly escalating. Reckless and criminal negligence is found here.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services prompted by a firestorm of criticism over reports that social workers repeatedly visited the family’s home in response to allegations of abuse.  Yet the boy was left in the custody of his mother.

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