A Closer look on Negligence as Child Abuse in Colorado

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Children are our most valuable resource.” – Herbert Hoover

One of the most serious and complex laws in Colorado which can make you also avail of bail bond service is the Child Abuse Law wherein the failure to protect a child by the person responsible for their care is subject to punishment by law. According to the law, parents (which also includes guardians and caregivers) have a legal duty to prevent any sort of abuse of their children. The duty of care is based on the special relationship between parents and their children. This is justified since it is morally right that parents should always prioritize the safety and welfare of their children.

The Child Abuse Law applies to children under the age of 16. It is important to note that child abuse does not only include physical and sexual abuse but also includes emotional or mental abuse and even neglect. 

But what if the child has been subject to neglect or involuntary abuse which causes their injury or even death? For instance, there have been a lot of cases wherein a parent has mindlessly left their infant child in a hot car. According to a study, more than 900 children have died in hot cars in the U.S. since 1990. This may not be a huge number but is clearly disturbing since this poses a question, what kind of parent forgets children in a hot car? 

In 2008, a mother from Douglas County, Colorado was convicted with two counts of child abuse resulting in death of her two children, Jasmine Mendieta (5 years old) and Nathan Mendieta (2 years old). According to the investigation, the two children died in a closed but unlocked car from complications of hyperthermia since the mother, Stacey Mendieta (28 years old) slept after working a night shift and the children were left on their own for more than three hours. 

According to the report, a cleaning man across the street and a neighboring couple told officers they saw the children playing outside the house about 11:30. The cleaning man said he saw the kids playing inside the car as he drove away between 11:20 and 11:30. Shortly after 3 p.m., Mendieta woke up and her kids were gone. Deputies arrived 10 minutes after a 911 call and quickly found that the kids were dead in the car in front of the house. The affidavit submitted has conflicting information about the car door locks with the mother telling the police the passenger side doors were locked and the driver’s side doors were unlocked wherein, the passenger side doors were the ones unlocked. The report also states that the mother was broke despite working full time night shifts.

A study shows that there is a so-called “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” wherein even caring, competent parents can forget their children in the car due to failure of the memory system or sleep deprivation. Other factors include stress and alcohol or substance misuse which can cloud a person’s decisions and judgement.

Many would argue that the case discussed above is an accident but according to the Colorado’s Child Abuse Law, negligence of a parent, guardian or caregiver resulting in the death of the child is considered as class 3 felony. As sad as this can be, if your loved ones have been arrested, you can call bail bonds in Colorado. We would like to help and our team at Lucky Lucero’s Bail Bonds are experts in bail bond services and available  bail bonds in Colorado for you 24/7. For any questions, call us now!

By | 2021-07-31T09:45:02-06:00 July 31st, 2021|Bail Bonds|