The latest news on the Michelle Fontanez/DCF story.
The Department of Children & Families didn’t break any laws but was “grossly deficient” in its dealings with a 13-year-old Lehigh girl killed in February, a grand jury ruled Wednesday.Note- Earlier related posts of mine are here, here, here and here. Also check out this video of Michelle Fontanez being interviewed.
Michelle Fontanez, 13, died Feb. 23, several days after DCF officials sent her home despite her complaints about being sexually abused by her stepfather, Alberto Hernandez, 38.
He faces trial March 12 on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and sexual battery.
Fontanez’s uncle, Luis Fontanez of Cambridge, Mass., had hoped the grand jury would come down harder on DCF.
“We are outraged at this decision,” Luis Fontanez said. “As far as we are concerned, DCF put the bullet in the gun and Alberto (Hernandez) shot it. They basically put the bait in his face and waved it. We are sickened by these results.”
DCF officials began making sweeping changes following reports by The News-Press and an internal investigation by the agency.
The grand jury acknowledged DCF’s mistakes and the steps it has taken to fix the problems.
“While we can never know whether appropriate protective steps would have, in fact, prevented the criminal acts which killed Ms. Fontanez,” the grand jury wrote, “they could well have reduced the risk to her. Clearly, the DCF, which had the legal responsibility to protect her, failed to do so.”
What the @#%^!??? If DCF had listened to Fontanez, they would never have put the girl back into the custody of her mother. Plus the agency never did a background check on Hernandez as required. There were sufficent warning signs for anyone to see if the caseworkers had bothered to l Therefore DCF would have prevented this girl's murder by not placing Michelle back with her mother.
What Alberto Hernandez did was murder, but he had an unwitting accomplice in the DCF caseworkers plus attorney Andrea Lang. These people deserve to be prosecuted, for a girl is dead because they did nothing. I can't believe there isn't some crime these people can be charged with. Doing nothing here is only letting DCF have the chance to do another Michelle Fontanez. DCF never learn till they can be held accountable.
The grand jury that handed down this ruling is as perverted as the agency they ruled on. A 13-year-old girl is dead and some of those responsible for it will walk away from this scot free. What a monumental screwup the both social services and the justice system in Florida is.
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