Family Dept. reviewed complaint of alleged negligence involving 13-year-old in 2018
By The Star Staff
In 2018, the Family Department received a complaint about the hygienic conditions of the 13-year-old girl with severe autism who gave birth to a girl on Wednesday as a result of a rape by her stepfather, but the agency found no basis for taking action.
“There was a referral in 2018 that was not substantiated. So we have no active history on this minor,” Glenda Gerena Ríos, head of the Families and Children Administration (ADFAN by its Spanish acronym), said in response to questions from the press. “Referrals about negligence, and nothing to do with this sexual abuse matter. An investigation was made for negligence and it was not validated. It was discussed with the experts, with the pediatrician, and it was not validated. That referral was in October 2018. The negligence regarding hygiene was not validated.”
“That referral was investigated and was not substantiated because the criteria for mistreatment could not be established,” the official added. “There was no present danger and imminent danger criteria at the time, and there was no situation like the one we are working on right now.”
Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz added that at that time the minor was also taken to a pediatrician and no further action on the complaint was deemed necessary.
“That referral was not under the same scenario as there is now,” she said. “This stepfather was not in the picture.”
“When we were investigating, the pediatrician revealed that there were no signs of abuse; the mother welcomed the recommendations very well,” González Magaz added. “The school also reports that there had been a change in the mother after the minor was brought to the pediatrician. The pediatrician indicates that there were some conditions with the minor that have to do with her condition because she is on the autism spectrum and the mom continued with those recommendations. The girl continues to do well at school and in the exchange with the Department of Education it was determined or the conclusion was reached that the mother is really working the case with the minor very well and she is being responsible.”
The officials made their statements after a visit to the Río Piedras Medical Center with the minor and her newborn baby, about which they only stated that both are fine.
“We just saw the minor, she is fine,” González Magaz said. “We talked to the nurse, the caregiver and we also talked to her doctor and she is recovering after giving birth.”
As for the future of the minor and her child, the Family Department will maintain custody of both. At the moment they said they are evaluating relatives for their fitness to assume custody.
Meanwhile, a similar case arose of alleged rape of a minor in Corozal, for which the ADFAN administrator said the agency’s protocol had been activated.
“That case just came to me,” Gerena said. “It has already been passed to the pertinent area to verify if there is a referral or not to attend to it.”