LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Counseling was part of the sentence given Wednesday for a New Mexico woman who admitted locking her 8-year-old niece with developmental disabilities in a wooden cage, leaving her alone while other family members left to watch a movie.
A judge sentenced Cindy Patriarchias, 34, in state District Court in Las Cruces to a six-year suspended sentence, the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/PAD9tq) reported. Judge Fernando Macias sentenced Patriarchias with credit for 116 days of time served.
Macias also ordered her to complete a rehabilitation program that provides counseling and other services.
Patriarchias pleaded guilty in December to two counts of felony child abuse.
According to police, Patriarchias and her boyfriend took her three children to a school in January 2013 to watch a movie. Patriarchias’ estranged husband called police when he arrived at the school and learned that the 8-year-old girl was unattended at the mobile home.
The girl didn’t appear to have any physical injuries, police said.
She was found in a large homemade wooden cage in the corner of a bedroom. The cage had two latches on the door and a baby crib’s mattress inside. It was about 2 1/2 feet wide and 4 feet tall, police said in a statement.
Macias said the counseling program would allow Patriarchias to get the help she needed to resume a public life, albeit under court supervision.
The boyfriend, Edmond Gonzales, pleaded guilty to negligent child abuse in December.
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