Just over a year after a New Mexico couple was arrested for abusing their infant daughter, the father is back in jail for the exact same crime.
February 2017, Sharod Be’Ans and Jovana Gonzales took their 6-month-old daughter to UNM Hospital for swelling to the head.
The couple denied abuse, but doctors discovered the girl had recent skull fractures and her bones indicated past abuse as well.
Their two children were taken into CYFD custody. In April of this year, both Be’Ans and Gonzales pleaded ‘no contest’ to the child abuse charges in Valencia County, and were sentenced to three years probation each in Judge Cindy Mercer’s courtroom.
However, KRQE News 13 has learned that in January, months before that plea, the girl and the couple’s other child were placed back into the home on a “trial home visit.”
That is, until just last month, when there was another trip to UNM-H.
The little girl, now more than 1-year-old, had trauma to her face. According to court documents, Be’Ans claimed the girl fell off a couch. He first called his wife, who wasn’t at home at the time, then he notified CYFD.
After an investigation by New Mexico State Police, Be’Ans was again arrested for child abuse just days ago.
CYFD says per law, it cannot comment on a specific case, but spokesperson Henry Varela explained how situations like this usually work.
“Per state law, it is mandatory that we do try to work a reunification plan [with the family],” he said.
Varela says the family must prove they are ready to reunite to CYFD and the courts. Then a trial home visit, which is not supervised 24/7, can begin.
“Then the case worker will visit that family no less than a minimum of once a week, or as much as needed to check in the family to ensure that the child is safe and nothing is going on,” he said.
If that child’s safety is compromised — like in this case — the child[ren] will go back into CYFD custody.
Be’Ans is in jail, charged with child abuse. His wife was not arrested in this recent incident.