Part Eight of a Series
During Gonzales’ statement, she finds herself unable to speak after uttering the words “Your Honor, I am guilty…” leaving the entire courtroom speechless, but Judge Adair halts Rinetti from comment and urges Gonzales to continue, “…of allowing myself to be distracted and not protect my baby.”
Deputy Public Defender John Piro reported that the CPS case had been closed since November 15, that Gonzales was employed full time, had a Nevada driver’s license with an established Clark County residence, zero failures to appear, and was working on reunification with her baby, as she had completed all of her CPS requirements. Piro further contended that although Gonzales accepted the Alford Plea, that she had never conceded, and will never, because it did not occur — that she intentionally harmed her child. He conceded that Gonzales did take responsibility for the inadvertent harm that came upon her baby. He addressed every medical point argued ad nauseam by Rinetti by elaborating a plethora of rebuttals disproving the methods by which Gonzales’ accusers had arrived at their alleged diagnoses. He then presented Judge Adair with the packet of letters, remarking “even one from House Arrest — they don’t do that for anyone!” Rinetti’s
statement to the news of a closed CPS case was “CPS is always doing that to me, Your Honor.”
Judge Adair sentenced Gonzales to 14 – 72 months in prison, then suspended the sentence and awarded her probation instead; probation not to exceed five years. She told Gonzales to adhere to the visitation stipulations to be determined by her probation officer, but she would allow communication with her baby via telephone, photos and video conferencing. Gonzales must complete parenting/anger management counseling, maintain lawful full time employment, submit to substance abuse evaluation and any counseling deemed necessary by her probation officer and may also be placed on house arrest at the discretion of her probation officer. Adair then allowed her to visit with her baby in the hallway that day. The fees and restitution amount stood as recommended. In the hallway, many strangers who were present in the
courtroom acknowledged their own joy for the outcome and wished Gonzales and her baby well.
Dena Rinetti was visibly angry and told John Piro that he “better hope she doesn’t get in any trouble.” Rinetti would never speak to Piro again, other than the unavoidable.
Gonzales reported to Nevada Dept of Public Safety Parole and Probation on January 24, 2014. She was told that she needed to wait for a call from her probation officer to schedule their first appointment. When her new probation officer, R. Willis, did contact her on February 5, he told her to report immediately or he would violate her. Willis did
not allow Gonzales to have any form of communication with either of her two children. At their first meeting he took her phone and looked through it, finding many photos of her children, particularly of her baby, that she had been sent from family, foster parents and CPS caseworker throughout this period. Willis threatened to put her in violation for having had any kind of communication with her children.
He then placed her on house arrest. For the first week of transition between one house arrest department and the other, she was wearing, and paying for, two house arrest monitors. Finally, LVMPD House Arrest received the paperwork to remove their monitor.
The Nevada Department of Public Safety Parole and Probation house arrest cost is based on a sliding scale according to income. Gonzales was paying $129.22 a week, plus $30.00 a month for the probation officer plus other fees and expenses. On February 26, Willis had Gonzales sign a Restitution Schedule Agreement, promising to pay $1,675.00 a month until her restitution amount was paid in full. This agreement was to commence on February 1, 2014. Willis continued to do random home searches and drug-tested Gonzales every time she reported for an appointment.
Gonzales was also not allowed to utilize any of the free resources that she had done the footwork to obtain for herself, such as the counseling that she so terribly needed. Willis told her that anything she needed she had to go through THEIR people, then laughed and said that they were NOT free. She was referred to Hope for Prisoners, a re-entry program that also does work with many who are on probation, but her calls were never returned. Willis threatened to violate her if she was lying, but was able to verify with another probation officer that this was indeed the case. So, Gonzales had to do without any therapy for the trauma that she, too, had endured.
To fulfill the substance and abuse stipulation of her probation, Gonzales met with Nevada Department of Public Safety Substance and Abuse Counselor Edie Kline every other week. Gonzales had noticed that the amount of restitution was the exact same amount as the hospital bill. She mentioned this to Edie Kline on one such session and wondered aloud if she should apply Elgin’s medical benefits which had been applied for by CPS to cover that purpose exactly. Kline encouraged her to give it a try. So she did. Gonzales went in person to the University Medical Center cashier to give Elgin’s Medical Insurance number, which left a $300.00 balance, which she also paid.
When she showed up at Kline’s office for her next appointment, she noticed that Kline did not appear all that pleased to see her receipt from the hospital showing a zero balance.
On March 17, Edie Kline would receive an email from Iyanna’s paternal grandmother Karla, expressing her concern for the 12-year-old daughter’s need to see her mother, asking her to please consider allowing a visit. Kline never responded to the email, although she did mention having received it to Gonzales during one of their sessions.
Gonzales’ previous house arrest situation had accommodated her work schedule. This new Parole and Probation scheduled appointments at hours that Gonzales would have to miss work for. By not working a complete 40-hour work week, Gonzales was no longer eligible to receive her commissions from AGR Group. In the letter to Judge Adair in January from her employer AGR Group, Gonzales had been referred to as a top producer. Now some of her paychecks were as low as $143.00. She was no longer receiving any help from her family. She also had a problem with her car and her electricity was cut off. Because she had a criminal record she was not even allowed to apply for food stamps.
But she was up to date on all of her house arrest and other legal fee payments.
When she would relate her financial concerns to Willis, he would tell her that she needed a cheaper place to live; that she did not need a two-bedroom apartment when she didn’t have any kids. He had still not approved any visitation requests with either of her children. He was, however, impressed with her zero balance restitution and told her to tell her attorney to put her back on court calendar so that he could tell the judge. The next court date was set for May 13.