It isn’t a surprise that viewers had been shocked and appalled by the Netflix true crime series The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, which appears to be like at the aftermath of the loss of life of eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez at the fingers of his mom and her accomplice. While each the perpetrators – Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre – had been discovered responsible obtained life sentences, with Isauro on loss of life row, they weren’t the solely two individuals placed on trial for Gabriel’s homicide.
His social workers, Gregory Merritt, Stefanie Rodriguez, Patricia Clement and Kevin Bom, had been charged with youngster abuse and falsifying public data after failing to act in Gabriel’s curiosity regardless of 60 complaints being filed towards Pearl and Isauro from 2003 to 2012. While eight investigations had been opened relating to Gabriel’s scenario, he was by no means faraway from the family. The documentary additionally examines how Gabriel’s trainer would usually report indicators of abuse to Stefanie Rodriguez, whereas one other casework used a pc program to estimate Gabriel’s dwelling scenario, which advised that he was at excessive danger of abuse. Despite the findings, supervisor Gregory Merritt closed his case. So what happened to the 4 social employee accused of failing to defend Gabriel?
All 4 of them had been subsequently fired consequently of the case, and went to trial again in autumn 2019. Speaking to The Atlantic about the case, Gregory has since admitted feeling “crippled by guilt” over failing to learn the case correctly earlier than closing it. He mentioned: “I don’t think there’s anything else I could have done.”
As the documentary confirmed, the social workers’ case was finally dismissed after the Court of Appeal dominated that there was no most likely trigger to maintain them on the fees. Speaking about the ruling, Associate Justice Victoria Gerrard Chaney mentioned: “Allowing a social worker to evade liability for falsifying a public document would incentivise social workers to put their own interests in avoiding liability for their misdeeds above the purpose of the state’s child welfare statutory scheme, which is child safety.” The case continues to be ongoing for the social employee, who’re due in courtroom in late March the place the fees will formally be dismissed.
Speaking about the resolution to drop the case, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey mentioned: “I want to thank the dedicated deputy district attorneys who have worked diligently to pursue justice on behalf of Gabriel Fernandez. My office vigorously pursued those who directly caused Gabriel’s death and those who failed to intervene to protect him. While we prevailed against those who inflicted the injuries, the appellate court rejected our theory of criminal liability against the social workers, who my office believed had a duty to protect Gabriel. Unfortunately, in the case against the social workers, state law is not on our side. After reviewing the appellate ruling, I have decided that the best plan of action is to ask the court to de-publish the opinion.”