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Mother accused of leaving child home alone receives probation

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

A Cape Coral mother accused of leaving her 3-year-old child home alone so she could go bar-hopping was sentenced to two years probation.
Silvia Paolo Uribe, 23, of 904 S.E. 13th St., Apt. 103, pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a minor Monday.
Uribe initially was arrested on one count of neglect child without great harm, a felony charge. The contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a minor counts are misdemeanors, according to documents.
“Based on the facts and the evidence, we charged her with two counts of contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a minor,” Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said.
Uribe received three days in jail on each count and 12 months probation on each count, to run consecutively. Syoen said Uribe was ordered to pay court and prosecution costs totaling $310. The child currently is not in her care.
“She does not have custody of the child,” Syoen said.
Uribe did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.
Attorney Joe Viacava, of the Wilbur Smith Law Firm, represented her.
Viacava emphasized Wednesday that Uribe pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the dependency — not to the delinquency — of a minor. The charge indicates that a person with custody was neglectful in their duties.
“We are thrilled that we were able to negotiate misdemeanors,” he said, adding that Uribe was “extremely pleased with the result in the case.”
“She’s always been very remorseful and very compliant with the court’s requests in the felony case,” Viacava said.
Being of Columbian descent, Uribe could have been deported had the felony charge stuck. Viacava said the misdemeanors allow her to continue to have a relationship with her child, with whom Uribe is permitted supervised contact.
“It’s a perfect compromise,” he said. “Our client looks forward to resuming her relationship with her child.”
According to Viacava, the father and his side of the family have custody.
Assistant State Attorney Francine Donnorummo prosecuted the case.
According to police, Uribe’s neighbors found her child crying near a road at about 2:30 a.m. April 11. The toddler was cold, scared and wearing a soaked diaper. The neighbors took the child home and tried to locate its mother. The door to Uribe’s apartment was open with the lights on, but no one was home.
After spending 35 minutes trying to find Uribe, the neighbors called 911.
At 4:13 a.m., Cape police observed Uribe being dropped off down the street. She arrived home, and stated that she had only been gone for 40 minutes to visit a friend who lived a street away. Uribe told police that she had left the child with a babysitter, but could not provide a name or telephone number.
Police stopped the vehicle that dropped off Uribe and the driver stated the two of them had been at a bar in Naples. Two days later Uribe provided police with a statement, admitting that she had made up the story of a babysitter. She said she left the child home alone and locked the door before leaving.
Uribe told police that she thought the child would sleep while she was gone.
The Florida Department of Children and Families placed the toddler with its paternal grandmother following the incident in April. DCF spokesman Terry Field said the department’s investigation into the case was closed in June.
“The allegation was inadequate supervision,” he said.
“There was abuse or neglect,” Field said.