Photo: Elena Tonton Simon in DR Court
Elena Tonton Simon has the most drug arrests on record in the Dominican Republic yet she has not seen a lot of prison time thanks to her pregnancies and breastfeeding practices.
It is the Dominican Penal Code, Clause 234 that has enabled Simon, to stay out of jail despite having been arrested multiple times for trafficking drugs. Her August 22nd arrest for having 48 viles of crack cocaine and 23 parcels of marijuana was her 17th arrest.
This time she was released on the grounds she was breastfeeding her six-month old baby. Records indicate she has been set free four or more other times for either being pregnant or breastfeeding. In spite of pleas by prosecutors that Simon never returns to court dates after giving birth, the judge said his hands were tied due to Clause 234 that does not allow for a pregnant or lactating women to be imprisoned in the Dominican Republic.
The judge did demand that Simon’s claims she was breastfeeding be medically proven and they were. Another victory for Simon until next time.