Gabriel Fernandez: Why are the charges against the social workers involved in his death being dropped? – The Sun

NEW social workers in the case of Gabriel Fernandez came under investigation after the child died at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend.

Netflix docu-series The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez tells the story of how he was tortured, and raised questions about the social system that was meant to protect him. The charges against the four social workers will be dropped Thursday, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

What happened to Gabriel Fernandez's four social workers?

Prosecutors opened an investigation into the social workers assigned to Gabriel's case after his mother Pearl Fernandez and stepfather Isauro Aguirre's were found guilty of his murder in 2018.

They alleged the officials failed to take appropriate steps to protect the boy.

Two social workers, Stefanie Rodriguez and Patricia Clement, as well as two of their supervisors, Kevin Bom and Gregory Merritt, were each charged with one felony count of child abuse and falsifying public records.

Additionally, all four were fired from their jobs following an internal investigation into the group's actions leading up to Gabriel's death on May 23, 2013.

Did Gabriel Fernandez's four social workers go to jail?

The case made against the four social workers never made it to trial.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal advised that the lower court dismiss the charges against the social workers.

This decision came from a three-justice panel.

It was stated that there was no probable cause connected to child abuse or falsifying documents in a 2-to-1 opinion.

A motion to rehear the appeals court decision was denied in January 2020 and the criminal case against these four is not progressing further.

If the case went to trial and Rodriguez, Clement, Bom, and Merritt had been found guilty, they could have faced up to 10 years in prison each.

Judge George Lomeli had previously denied a motion to dismiss the charges against the social workers. However, Lomeli is expected to dismiss the charges at 8:30 a.m Thursday.

Why wasn't Gabriel Fernandez's death prevented?

Social worker Stefanie Rodriguez and other representatives of child protection agencies visited Gabriel's home on a number of occasions.

They claimed to have never found strong enough signs of abuse in order to remove Gabriel from the house.

Later investigations revealed Rodriguez had never received information which showed Pearl Rodriguez had abused and neglected her other children.

What happened to Gabriel Fernandez's parents?

Gabriel's mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, were both charged and convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances of torture. Fernandez is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Aguirre pleaded not guilty, however, the jury found him guilty and recommended he be sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution in San Quentin State Prison.

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