Family calls for tougher penalties in child abuse cases


A judge sentenced Jordan Nunez to 21 years in prison on Friday for his role in the death. Police say his father brutally beat the 13-year-old to death four years ago, and Nunez could have saved him, but did not report.

Prosecutors said this type of punishment needed to be more severe.

“I really hope (Jeremiah’s sister) and her family know how sorry I am that I didn’t contact someone when I should have,” Nunez said.

Nunez apologized to Jeremiah Valencia’s family in court on Friday before a judge read his sentence: 18 years for recklessly allowing child abuse resulting in death, plus three years for tampering with evidence. 18 was the maximum sentence for the child abuse charge.

“If there is anything that needs to change, it is the legislature that looks at child abuse resulting in death and does not make a distinction based on a child’s age. Jeremiah was 13 when this happened. is produced, so the total possible sentence for this crime was 18. If Jeremiah had been under 13, that would have been a potential 30. That’s a huge difference and disparity depending on the age of the children, ”said Jennifer Padgett Macias, Deputy Chief Prosecutor.

A bill was introduced during the 2018 legislative session that would have increased the penalty for intentional child abuse resulting in death to life imprisonment for all victims under the age of 18. The chamber adopted him by 62 votes to 6, but he died in the Judicial Committee of the Senate.

Nunez – who was 19 at the time of Jeremiah’s death – did not report the horrific abuse inflicted on Jeremiah by Nunez’s father, Thomas Ferguson.

KOB 4 spoke with Jeremiah’s aunt, Céline Miera, about what still needs to change in our state to prevent child abuse:

“I just hope it opens people’s eyes. If you see something going on with a child, say something. It wasn’t necessary, it could have been avoided altogether if he had said something. And I know there are kids out there right now who are probably being abused by other people, but if they see it, they have to say something, anything, ”Miera said.


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