Friday, February 26, 2010

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

If this Indiana mother would have left the violence with her children and reported the father for abuse before the little girl died, she would have lost her children. This is the typical action for abusers: he will go to court and gain custody of the children, claiming the children are afraid of him because of so-called “parental alienation syndrome.” Even with documented abuse, the courts will gladly hand children over to an abuser. The protective parent will be blamed for “alienating” the children, and will most likely be kept from ever seeing them again.

Or she could have stayed, so that the abuser could just kill the little girl. Either way she and the children lose.

From The South Bend Tribune (Indiana):

South Bend mother gets 30 years without parole in neglect case

Byers-Escobedo ordered to report immediately to prison

Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND – A South Bend woman convicted of neglect in the death of her daughter is going to prison. Kristina Byers-Escobedo sobbed quietly this morning as sheriff’s deputies led her from the courtroom of Judge Jane Woodward Miller in handcuffs.

Miller sentenced Byers-Escobedo to 30 years executed, denying the 31-year-old an opportunity for parole. She also denied a request by Byers-Escobedo’s lawyer to allow his client one day to report in order to say goodbye to her young son. “I cannot and will not give you additional time to report,” Miller said, explaining Byers-Escobedo should have already prepared the child for the possibility she would be imprisoned.

In sentencing Byers-Escobedo, Miller admonished the mother for failing to protect her daughter, 2-year-old Maya Escobedo, from the child’s father, Valentin Escobedo, who has been charged with murder in the child’s death.

“You told us you were protecting your family,” Miller said, referring to Byers-Escobedo’s explanation of why she ignored signs of abuse by Valentin Escobedo. “… I don’t know what you were protecting. I know what you were not protecting. You were not protecting the one person who was too young and too vulnerable to protect herself.”

During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence establishing a history of abuse by Valentin Escobedo against Maya, including multiple broken bones. The child died in December 2008 after suffering a skull fracture.

Asked afterward about the judge’s decision, prosecutor Ken Cotter said he trusted Miller’s judgment, adding, “Nobody is happy with what happened here. It’s just awful.”

Byers-Escobedo’s parents attended the hearing, but declined to comment afterward.

Byers-Escobedo was convicted of Class A felony neglect in January following a four-day trial. According to her lawyer, she plans to appeal the conviction.

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