Four social workers in Los Angeles County have been charged with child abuse, accused of failing to protect an 8-year-old who was beaten to death inside his home.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles County announced on Thursday that four employees with the Department of Children and Family Services would face charges in the 2013 death of Gabriel Fernandez.
Social workers, Stefanie Rodriguez, 30, and Patricia Clement, 65, are accused of visiting the boy’s home during a seven-period. Prosecutors say that the two social workers were falsifying reports that would have documented physical abuse again the child.
Two supervisors, Kevin Bom, 36, and Gregory Merrit, 60, are also facing charges. Prosecutors say that the supervisors approved reports indicating that the child was okay despite evidence showing signs of physical abuse.
All four employees were fired after an investigation. Merrit successfully appealed his termination and was reinstated.
Gabriel died May 24, 2013, from multiple injuries including a fractured skull, broken, ribs and burns all over his body. His mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, have pleaded not guilty to murder and are awaiting trial.
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