Woman sentenced for injuring boy, disabling him

Ocampo-Garcia

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tanner Crowther.

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A Rexburg woman pleaded guilty Monday to injury of a child in a case of abuse that left the victim disabled.

Lorena Ocampo-Garcia, 25, was arrested in February 2016 after she hit a 3-year-old child with an action figure. District Judge

Dane Watkins Jr. sentenced her to three to 15 years in prison and $5,000 in civil fines.

Ocampo-Garcia had been babysitting the victim when his father left for work. Ocampo-Garcia told the boy to stop screaming, and shoved the victim when he didn’t stop. After she attempted to pick up the child and he pushed her away, she hit him with the action figure, a large plastic soldier. Ocampo-Garcia then called an ambulance, less than 15 minutes after the father had left.

Ocampo-Garcia was engaged to the victim’s father when the crime occurred.

According to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tanner Crowther the injury was severe enough that a vein in the child’s brain was broken. The family was told by the doctor that the injury was more typical of a car crash.

Crowther showed the foot-long toy to the court to demonstrate how dangerous it was as a weapon used against a child.

“This is not a small toy,” Crowther said. “This is not a soft toy. It’s a pretty hefty toy.”

Liz Marquez, the victim’s mother, gave a victim impact statement on behalf of her son, who is now 4 years old.

“After months of treatment and physical therapy, this is how he’s progressed,” Marquez said, presenting her son to the court. “He still can’t use his right hand.”

A report submitted by Dr. Brent Greenwald, a neurosurgeon at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, states the child will likely suffer long-term disabilities from his injuries. A scar was visible on the back of the victim’s head from surgery where some of the bone was removed to relieve pressure on his brain. Although he can move his right arm, the victim is unable to use his fingers.

Crowther said it was during this surgery that the broken vein was first discovered.

“Had it not been for him (Greenwald), this would be a fatality case,” Crowther said.

Crowther said probation or retained jurisdiction would not be appropriate given the harm caused to the victim.

“This child’s life has been dramatically altered because he cried and he was near Lorena,” Crowther said.

Rocky Wixom, Ocampo-Garcia’s defense attorney, said his client had gone too far in disciplining the child, but cited her lack of criminal history in saying she should receive a rider program. Wixom also pointed out that Idaho does allow corporal punishment, creating gray areas for interpreting the law.

Wixom also noted Ocampo-Garcia faces other consequences for her crime because she is not a U.S. citizen and likely would be deported, separating her from her 10-year-old daughter and her infant son.

“If I do get deported, my 1-year-old won’t remember me,” Ocampo-Garcia said in her statement to the court. “My daughter will remember me, but we will lose that time together.”

Ocampo-Garcia expressed remorse for her actions, saying violence was something she grew up with.

Watkins said he was torn by the case, feeling both for the victim’s injuries and Ocampo-Garcia’s own experience with abuse.

“There are simply too many injuries for the court to believe this is a probation or retainer case,” Watkins said.

“I recognize you have had a traumatic upbringing,” the judge said to Ocampo-Garcia, “but this kind of abuse cannot be accepted or tolerated.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.


Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.


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