The Omaha woman who left her newborn son on the porch of a South Omaha home has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of abandonment.
Maria Paiz-Perez, 28, was sentenced to 90 days in jail. She was given credit for the 42 days she has already served.
Paiz-Perez had also faced a misdemeanor count of negligent child abuse, but prosecutors dropped that charge.
Omaha City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse has said that evidence at Paiz-Perez’s home was consistent with the birth of a child.
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Shortly after the baby’s birth on April 6, authorities say, Paiz- Perez wrapped the boy in a baby blanket and sweater and placed him in a plastic bag. About 11:30 a.m., officials said, she left him on the front porch of a home near 15th and U Streets. His umbilical cord was still attached.
Paiz-Perez’s attorney, Joseph Cervantes, said Thursday that his client is from Guatemala and has only an elementary school education. Her pregnancy, he said, was the result of a sexual assault. Cervantes said Paiz-Perez was scared and unsure of how to take care of the child.
He also said she wasn’t aware of how things are generally done in the U.S. and did not know about Nebraska’s safe haven law, which allows people to leave babies at a fire station or hospital. If she had known of the law, he said, she wouldn’t have left the baby at the home.
The boy, referred to as Nicholas in police and court documents, weighed 7 pounds and was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center. Doctors found no injuries or signs of abuse.
Paiz-Perez initially denied giving birth, court documents say, but later “made some admissions to being the mother.”
Police had been searching for a black two-door Pontiac that had stopped in front of the house near 15th and U. Witnesses said they saw the car pull into the driveways of multiple homes. Kuhse said Paiz-Perez eventually chose a home that she believed had people inside.
Last month, a juvenile court judge ordered the child to be placed in foster care.