Norma Mendez pled guilty in the death of baby born to a teenage mother who had been forced into prostitution by Mendez and her husband, Domingo Salazar and will now spend up to 12 years behind bars.
Two years ago, a 3-month-old baby was found in a basement in New York’s Bronx neighborhood.
The baby’s names was Carlos and was the child a 16-year-old girl who had been brought to the U.S. from Mexico by Mendez and her husband and forced into the sex trade.
Not only did the couple abuse the young girl, but police say her infant son was also abused and left to die. The heartless couple then had the teenager bury the baby in a shoebox in the basement of their brothel.
While many have no doubt Mendez and her husband are responsible for the baby’s death, Mendez’ plea to manslaughter means she is on the hook only for recklessness leading to the death of the child, but not actually murdering the 3-month-old.
After pleaded guilty, 34-year-old Mendez took a plea deal of 4 to 12 years in prison, which prosecutor Jacqueline Kagan said spared the sex-slave mother and Mendez’ 6-year-old son from having to testify.
Mendez’ husband received a similar sentence for his part in the events. He is said to be the father of the deceased infant after raping the girl, now 18.