She has now been sentenced to 99 years in prison for the attack on her two-year old daughter.
Escalona pleaded guilty in July to the charges of child abuse. The details of her case are grim and not for the faint of heart. In September 2011, she beat her two year old daughter, Jocelyn Cedillo, to the brink of death. The child was kicked in the stomach and hit with a milk jug, writes The Dallas News.
The worst of it was that the child had her hands super-glued to the wall.
Escalona told authorities that she was punishing the child for potty training problems.
In our prior post, we talked about a parent's right to discipline and how no Texas parent was permitted to discipline to such an extent as to put their child at risk of substantial harm.
But child abuse penalties typically aren't as harsh as the sentence Escalona received. State authorities usually intervene and take the child out of the dangerous home. They may place the child with family members (as is the case here, where all of Escalona's five children will be placed with their grandmother). Other times, authorities may place the child with foster care.
It's not rare, however, for a convicted child abuser to go to jail. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says that there are currently approximately 2,100 inmates in jail for child abuse.
Some are even serving life sentences.
In Escalona's case, her defense attorney argued that the sentence was harsh. Prosecutors, however, had a different take on the situation. The one most damning fact was that Escalona failed to take ownership of what she had done, writes The Associated Press.
In a sentencing hearing, a little remorse can go a long way.
But for Elizabeth Escalona, she will now have to face the consequences behind bars for the rest of her life.
- Find a Houston Family Lawyer (FindLaw)
- Child Abuse Laws (FindLaw)
- La Porte Mom Sues Neighbor Over False Child-Abuse Report (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)