Well, I don’t know how you are starting your week, but I started mine arguing with my alarm claiming that “It is not bright enough outside to be morning!” I lost that argument as shorter days get ready to become the norm.
I would guess, however, that as reluctant as I was to throw back the blanket and face the day, Worcester’s 36-year-old Victor Baez. Jr.(hereinafter, the “Defendant”) was even morehesitant. Like me, he would start his day in court; unlike me, he was probably not returning home tonight.
The Defendant, a Level Three sex offender, is set to be arraigned on charges of kidnapping, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment of a child, and driving with a suspended license. Clearly, this was not his first visit to the halls of justice. He was previously convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years of age in 2004.
In short, the Defendant stands accused of stealing an SUV with a 20-month child inside.
It was not really your typical car theft case. The Defendant and the owner/parents of the vehicle/baby knew each other…kinda-sorta.
According to the Commonwealth, the parents had known the Defendant for a day or two before the events in question. The actual events are said to include asking their asking the Defendant to watch the SUV/young child combination while they went into Waltham District Court to handle a matter of their own. When they emerged from the courthouse, their vehicle, baby and presumably ride home were gone.
The matter was reported to the police and, after a 45-minute “active and aggressive” search for the toddler, both the baby and SUV were found unharmed.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Dangers To Children, Law Enforcement And DCF
The Defendant in this case, like all criminal defendants, is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Who knows…maybe it was all a misunderstanding.
The point for today’s posting though, is the troubles the child’s parents may be finding themselves in.
There are crimes having to do with the endangerment of children (even if negligently) which the Commonwealth has been known to bring when parents act in an incredibly irresponsible manner. Some prosecutors might be of the mind that handing over your vehicle, complete with baby, to a guy who you only knew a day or two and was a Level Three Sex Offender while you fought your own battles in court is not terribly responsible.
On the other hand, if the Commonwealth were to bring criminal charges against the parents, then they would have no evidence to present against the Defendant. That’s because one would expect that the pair would grasp onto their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination with a death grip. No testimony from the folks and likely no evidence against the Defendant that is not merely hearsay.
The Department of Children and Families, however, might not have that problem. In fact, one would expect that they will be paying the parents a visit if they have not already done so. In fact, one might wonder if the baby is even back home or in foster care as I write this.
Any regular reader of this blog knows that I am not a big fan of DCF and tend to think that the initials mean “Destroying Children and Families”. However, in this case, one would expect there would be reason for the agency to look into the situation.
Which, of course, probably means that they will stay out of it.
In any event, the parents should trudge very carefully as the Commonwealth agencies and offices focus in on this matter.
Might I suggest the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who also deals with DCF nightmares…?
Video blog Update: Well, clearly our first video blog did not get posted on Friday as hoped. We are now looking to start the video posts this coming Friday.
For the complete stories upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/09/15/worcester-man-charged-with-taking-child-court/J1x4tQHVzmHhitzcgZRv0M/story.html and http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/09/12/police-arrest-man-after-allegedly-carjacking-vehicle-with-toddler-inside/jqFnKz6wuNYWUgCrAb12bP/story.html