A woman accused of neglecting her children has been charged after witnesses reported evidence of neglect, according to reports. The Illinois woman faces two counts of a class D felony charge of neglect of a dependent. This follows claims that her 3-year-old daughter was unsupervised on a busy street while her 1-year-old son was left in a closed vehicle.
Reports claim that the woman was inside a local restaurant when her daughter was seen walking in the right lane of a major road. A concerned witness took the child back to her mother, who had exited the restaurant looking for the little girl. Witnesses claim the mother threatened to abuse the girl on the way back into the restaurant.
After several witnesses called 911, one approached the woman's vehicle to ensure she did not leave ahead of the police. There, it is alleged her 1-year-old son was left in the vehicle, crying with all the windows closed. A witness removed the boy from the vehicle. The woman then allegedly attacked the witness who had removed her son from the vehicle. When police arrived, the woman explained she had entered the restaurant to use a pay phone and charge her cell, leaving her children in the car.
The woman's children have been remanded to Illinois Child Services, and she is currently being held by police ahead of a trial date. A felony charge of neglect can be devastating to a parent who may simply have made an error in judgment. The burden of proof in this matter will rest with the state to determine whether criminal neglect occurred. In order to combat such a charge, a working knowledge of relevant Illinois statutes regarding treatment of dependents may be the best first step to formulating one's defense.
Source: CourierPress.com, "Illinois woman accused of neglect," Abbey Doyle, May 26, 2013