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Charges Dropped Against Psychologists In Child Abuse Death

FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - Charges have been dropped against two psychologists who were indicted for not reporting to the state their suspicions of mistreatment of a 12-year old autistic Lauderhill girl who later died.

Pyschologists Juliana Gerena and Helen Richardson were indicted by a Broward Grand Jury on August 22nd on one count each of Failure to Report Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect.

The Broward State Attorney's Office said the charges were dropped due to a legal issue.

During the course of the investigation into the abuse and subsequent death of Tamiya Audain in September 2013, the grand jury subpoenaed records from both Gerena and Richardson who evaluated Audain before she died of medical neglect.

Those records contained privileged information and gave the psychologists immunity from prosecution since they could not be used against them in court. When investigators requested the records they didn't know the psychologists would be suspects in the child's death.

Audain weighed only 56 pounds and had extensive bed sores and bone deep wounds when her caregiver called police at her death.

Charges remain against Audain's caregiver, Latoya Patterson, and ChildNet caseworker, Jabeth Moye.

Patterson is charged with one count of first degree Felony Murder based on Aggravated Child Abuse which is punishable by life in prison.

Moye is facing one count of Child Neglect Causing Great Bodily Harm which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


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