A Strange Case of Child Abuse
Some family situations are hard to understand, especially when the parents are educated professionals yet their behavior towards their children seems to be neither educated nor professional. We Florida criminal defense attorneys are often asked to represent some defendants in what can turn out to be very difficult cases, both morally and legally.
A recent case in Sarasota is a clear example of what could be a very challenging experience for a criminal defense attorney. Keeping in mind first and foremost that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the story of child abuse sounds quite grotesque from the reports that the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office have released. A radiologist and his lawyer wife have been charged with aggravated child abuse because of their behavior towards at least one of their eight children, a girl of 12 years old.
It has been alleged that they kept her bound and confined for most of the day in a playhouse in very unsanitary conditions, but there seems to be no explanation why this particular child was singled out amongst the other children and why she seems to have been so cruelly treated.
The case came to light when a neighbor apparently found the little girl on his front porch with her ankles bound together by zip ties and her hands also tied together. The neighbors alerted the police who came around and checked out the girl’s parents’ property. The police found the playhouse that the girl said she had been confined in and it apparently smelled strongly of urine. The girl said that she was unable to go to the bathroom because she was locked up all day in the playhouse and had to relieve herself in there.
More of the sorry saga came to light when the parents turned themselves in at the Sarasota Jail. They apparently admitted that they kept the girl locked up in the playhouse and stopped her from getting out by blocking the door off with a large piece of wood wedged against the door. They also were reported telling the police that they stopped their daughter from damaging the playhouse by attaching an eye hook to the zip ties around her ankle. Mealtimes were also reported as being unusual because the girl was allowed to come into the house and sit on the floor while eating a meal.
Child abuse tends to be one of those crimes that does get a lot of media attention and it is hard for anyone who has been accused of child abuse to get a fair trial when the media decides to make it a headline issue.
As with many Florida laws, the penalties for aggravated child abuse are quite severe and it is important that the well-being of Eugenio and Victoria Erquiaga’s eight children, including the little girl who has been at the centre of the current case, is looked after. Having their parents locked up in jail might be worse for them in the long run so it will take all the skill a Florida defense lawyer attorney can muster in order to get a satisfactory result in this unhappy case. Having the state take the eight kids and spread them around in foster homes away from each other may also have devastating effects on their psychological wellbeing and may even subject them to more abuse.
So what’s the solution? Getting a criminal defense lawyer involved at the early stages of a case like this is important not only to the defendant’s, who may need psychological treatment, but to their children as well.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.