Mariah Meza spent the first 12 weeks of her life in severe pain and learning to avoid human contact. Thanks to her loving father, she had 21 rib fractures, a snapped pelvis, four fractures to the upper and lower left leg, and two to the right
. And mom went along, like moms in these cases usually do. Her father will be deported to Mexico (even though he's a legal immigrant to the U.S.) and will never see his daughter again. I hope the "mother" doesn't either.
He deserves worse, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Shawn Sweeney told the judge.
“Mariah was essentially in the same pain, every time she breathed, every time she moved,” Sweeney said.
“The defendant essentially tortured this baby until she stopped crying and stopped responding to human contact . . . This is a 12-week-old baby who had essentially given up,” Sweeney said.
“There’s just no prison sentence long enough.”
Meza’s lawyers, public defender Jacki Smith and Julia Nye, took exception to the term “torture,” noting that Meza was never accused of hurting Mariah on purpose, or even knowingly. The three first-degree assault charges to which he pleaded guilty state he acted recklessly, they noted.
“Torture is a purposeful act,” Smith said. “Mr. Meza did not intend to hurt his daughter. He was a young, inexperienced, frustrated first-time father.”
So he wasn't torturing the baby, he was just expressing his frustration. Got it.