LOS ANGELES CBSLA.com) — Four social workers face felony child abuse charges in the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez in 2013.
Officials said the boy died after numerous episodes of child abuse and torture.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reports that some key documents in the case could be used by prosecutors.
The case would be a first for the state of California — charging social workers with negligence leading to the boy’s death.
Officials have accused the social workers in the Fernandez case of also falsifying documents.
Two years ago, CBS2 was in court to get the case file held by the Department of Children and Faily Services.Fajardo said it is many of these same documents the DA is no doubt using to build her case against the social workers.
There are hundreds of pages filled with horrifying details of what the little boy endured at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend.
In some instances, the social workers jotted down notes on visit after visit.
The DA is not commenting on the evidence.
CBS2’s own investigation found supervisor’s signatures on incomplete forms and notes that weren’t there one month but that appeared months later.
One file, for example, appears at the end of January in 2013. The entries went from the 24th to the 29th. But in May, after Gabriel’s death, there is a new entry dated the 28th. There were also new pages allegedly outlining a visit on the 29th.
“I have thought of nothing else,” said one of the social workers.
Two years ago, one of the accused social workers broke her silence to CBS2.
At the time, she asked us not reveal her identity. The social worker said social workers were overworked and understaffed.
She said they had no choice but to take shortcuts. She wasn’t making excuses — just pointing out their reality.
“You get back to the office and you have 15 phone call and the statistics are due and did you see all your kids? I would put in the brief information about a contact, so it was in there and maybe not put all the detail in until later,” she added.
There is no way to know if that is what the DA is referring to in the charging documents,
But in our 2014 interview, the social worker said there wasn’t anything more she could have done.
“I did the best I could with what I had,” she said