LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge made an unexpected move in court in a case against two parents accused of child abuse. The I-Team has been following the story in which Metro Police said the defendants put the boy in a cage.
The 4-year-old with autism was kept at his parents in what investigators called a cage. The enclosure was made of metal with wood on top, so he couldn’t escape. He was kept there for lengthy periods of time with no food, water or toys.
“The court has so many concerns about what is going on here,” said Judge Tierra Jones of Clark County District Court.
Judge Jones was scheduled to sentence the child’s mother, Sheila Reyes, and stepfather, Juan Gonzales-Orozco, on Wednesday.
Both agreed to a plea deal where felony child abuse charges would be dropped to a gross misdemeanor with probation recommended.
But Judge Jones was not convinced.
“First of all, I don’t know how this deal was negotiated for them to get probation,” she said.
An attorney for Reyes previously referred to the enclosure as a homemade crib.
“I clearly remember reviewing the CPS records in this case and seeing the photos of what was going on inside of this house,” said Judge Jones, “and, it is offensive to me the behavior that went on.”
The child was removed from the home but then placed back with his parents.
The sentencing is rescheduled, as Judge Jones is now demanding more information about whether the parents are equipped to care for the boy who will need care the rest of his life.
“So that we don’t wind back up in this exact same situation of how we got here with this child in a cage,” she stated.
The I-Team learned the child could have been helped sooner.
At least two Clark County School District employees knew about it before police visited the home but didn’t report it. They were never charged or fired for failing to report the incident, which is against the law.