Having a newborn is quite a change in the lives of many a parent. Without adequate support from friends and family it can be immensely overwhelming.
This seems to be what led Marleen Rincones to "lose her cool" and hurt her 5-week-old baby by shaking and squeezing the infant and fracturing the baby's bones, according to the Houston Chronicle. The baby had bruises on her forearm, wrists, palm, several fingers, inner thighs, and her left foot, according to the police.
Will the baby be taken away from Rincones?
Believe it or not, child abuse laws actually post-date animal cruelty laws. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was actually the first organization to represent an abused child in the early 1870s. In the 1960s it was found that doctors could diagnose child abuse. This led to mandatory reporting laws.
It was likely the mandatory reporting laws that got Marleen Rincones charged after her baby had been brought to the hospital. Once abuse is reported, police will investigate. If the investigation finds that the child is in imminent danger, they will place the child in foster care and potentially begin proceedings against the parent.
In Marleen Rincones' shaken baby case, it is difficult to tell if Child Protective Services will begin proceedings to terminate her parental rights. While the alleged abuse was severe, it could have stemmed from frustration from not having a strong support network. On the other hand, the extensive nature of the alleged abuse suggests Rincones did not seek help when needed, which could be used as evidence of her fitness as a mother.
Hopefully Marleeen Rincones' shaken baby will have a chance to grow up in a loving home, whether with her mother or an adoptive family, because no newborn deserves to be allegedly abused in such a manner.
- Seeking a Family Lawyer in Houston (FindLaw)
- Checklist: Are You a Mandatory Reporter of Child Abuse? (FindLaw)
- Texas: Highest Number of Child Abuse Fatalities in America (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)