Couple pleads to child abuse – mom gets 2 days jail, dad gets 436 days

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies work to keep a child from falling through a window screen on the second floor of an apartment building. Austin Dave/The Signal

Parents of a girl rescued after she was found pushing on a second-floor window screen in March pleaded no contest Wednesday to one felony count of child abuse and were put on probation and given separate jail sentences.

Lucia Romero, and Gerren Nathaniel Mitchell, both 28, pleaded no contest to one felony count of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, said Wednesday.

Each parent was put on five years’ formal probation, with an order to attend one year of parenting courses, complete 240 hours of community service and pay a $300 child-abuse fine.

They were each placed on a 10-year protective order and told to have no contact with the victim — their daughter.

Romero, the mother of the child, was ordered to serve two days in an L.A. County Jail and given a suspended four-year prison sentence.

Mitchell, the father of the girl, was sentenced to 436 days in jail, and given a six-year state prison suspended sentence.

The pair was arrested in March after an incident in which sheriff’s deputies and firefighters rescued the girl.

The harrowing experience began for the child March 6, when a neighbor called the SCV Sheriff’s Station because the child was suspected to be home alone, crying and leaning on a window screen from inside an upper-level apartment, said Shirley Miller, SCV Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman.

Deputies were prepared to catch the young girl if the screen gave out, while others yelled up to her repeatedly to “go sit on your bed” and “step back from the window,” to which the young girl was unresponsive, according to witnesses.

Firefighters forced their way into the apartment and scooped up the child, who was then taken to the hospital.

The girl was placed in the custody of the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services after she was rescued.

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