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Archive for Friday, December 14, 2012

Illinois woman pleads no contest in child abuse case, agrees to testify in husband’s case

December 14, 2012

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Adolfo and Deborah Gomez, of Northlake, Ill., were arrested June 13, after two of their children were found bound by their hands and feet in a Lawrence Walmart parking lot.

Adolfo and Deborah Gomez, of Northlake, Ill., were arrested June 13, after two of their children were found bound by their hands and feet in a Lawrence Walmart parking lot.

A 43-year-old Northlake, Ill., woman pleaded no contest Friday to three crimes stemming from a June 13 incident incident in which two of her children were found bound by their hands and feet in a Lawrence Walmart parking lot.

Deborah Gomez pleaded no contest to three counts of child endangerment, and she agreed to testify in the upcoming trial of her husband, Aldolfo Gomez, 52.

Aldolfo Gomez is charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment and is scheduled for trial Jan. 7.

Prosecutors said at Friday's hearing that they will recommend Deborah Gomez be sentenced to one year of probation. The maximum sentence for child endangerment, a misdemeanor, is a year in jail.

However, she remains in custody and will not be sentenced until after her husband's trial. Deborah Gomez originally had been charged with the same crimes as her husband, but after she testifies in his trial, the four other charges against her will be dismissed, according to a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin — lifting a no-contact order — also opened the door for Deborah Gomez to have contact with her five children, ages 5, 7, 12, 13 and 15. That decision, however, will be made by another judge in the custody case.

The 5- and 7-year-old were found bound outside the family's van, while the other children were inside the vehicle, unbound. Testimony at prior hearings indicates the family was in Lawrence on its way from Illinois, heading to Arizona.

Angela Keck, Deborah Gomez's court-appointed attorney, said her client decided to plead no contest and avoid trial because she did not want her children to have to testify.

"She wanted to make sure her kids didn't have to go through the trauma" of a trial, Keck said.

Keck said her client, like the children, was a victim of a controlling, abusive husband and father.

"She did everything she could to protect her kids," Keck said. "But she couldn't go against Adolfo."

But with the arrests, Deborah Gomez has been freed, Keck said.

"She wants him to know she's done with his control and dominance," Keck said.

Aldolfo — who is in jail on a $50,000 bond — has previously testified that he and his children were fearful of demon possession. In June, Martin declared Adolfo competent to stand trial.

Douglas County prosecutors said the children have been placed in protective custody.

Comments

Steve Jacob 2 years ago

I understand the plea bargain, but the "Don't want to kids through the trauma" and that she is also a victim is BS, and hope she never gets custody of those kids. Those kids where a few days from being dead, and she would have helped him do it.

friendlyjhawk 2 years ago

I agree with this. Children can be victims because their brains are not fully developed and are unable to understand their situation because it seems normal to them. She is an adult and plea bargined herself into a better position. May be legal but what self respecting lawyer can really believe he did the right thing. All of them I imagine because right does not equal legal.

PEACELOVEANDLAWRENCE 2 years ago

This is what I don't understand, how she will just be let go on probation and have contact with her children. THAT SHE DID NOT DO EVERYTHING SHE COULD DO !!!! TO KEEP THEM SAFE! BS. Now she doesn't want to put them through the trial. She is just as guilty and neither one should ever have contact with these precious children ever again or any children for that matter! No mother that loves her children would ever let any one do this, she is playing a victim and its shameful that she is going to get a slap on the hand and eventually her children back. She does not deserve them ever! This is why children are afraid to tell on the parents or people that harm them because the court system and child protection are not keeping them safe before during or after! I knew this would happen the day this story broke. So disappointed, we need to do more to keep our children all children safe!

PEACELOVEANDLAWRENCE 2 years ago

This is what I don't understand, how she will just be let go on probation and have contact with her children. THAT SHE DID NOT DO EVERYTHING SHE COULD DO !!!! TO KEEP THEM SAFE! BS. Now she doesn't want to put them through the trial. She is just as guilty and neither one should ever have contact with these precious children ever again or any children for that matter! No mother that loves her children would ever let any one do this, she is playing a victim and its shameful that she is going to get a slap on the hand and eventually her children back. She does not deserve them ever! This is why children are afraid to tell on the parents or people that harm them because the court system and child protection are not keeping them safe before during or after! I knew this would happen the day this story broke. So disappointed, we need to do more to keep our children all children safe!

midwestmom 2 years ago

How is she more capable NOW of protecting, caring, loving her children than she was in June? I'd feel differently if she was also held captive and wasn't the one in Walmart buying THE FREAKING TARP AND DUCT TAPE!!! If she was free to make that purchase why didn't she call 9-1-1 and ask for help?

Our court system is completely skewed to protect the parents 'rights to their children'. Children aren't property. They are human beings and if the parent can't or won't protect their child from harm, their rights should be terminated.

She's a few cards less than a full deck if the information about them believing that those precious little children were possessed by the devil and needed to be cast out...

Hopefully, the custody judge will have better sense than don't re-elect Judge Martin has....

Bike_lover 2 years ago

Martin isn't the judge who will decide about custody and parental rights. She accepted a deal where the mother will testify against the father. The charges themselves aren't that serious, the maximum penalty is one year imprisonment. Generally I think Martin has been sympathetic to the children. Finding that the father was fit to stand trial means that he will be convicted of this crime and won't be able to wiggle out of it later on by claiming that he was sick but has since recovered.

The children got very lucky in that someone noticed them in the parking lot at Walmart and I don't think the parent deserve to have custody of the children either. Those questions aren't in Martin's court. Hopefully with the testimony of the mother against the father the family court will determine that they are unfit parents and terminate their rights.

The father is being held on $50,000 bond. The fact that no family member has stepped forward with $5,000 to bail him out says a lot about how wacko he is.

notyourmom 2 years ago

I don't think she should ever get custody of her children back, and I hope they are in therapy, but I do think it is okay to let the mom and kids have contact. It's going to be an important part of their recovery to hear what she has to say.

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