Mother who dumped baby in O.C. restaurant trash bin gets 15 years
A 21-year-old Orange County woman convicted of suffocating and then dumping the body of her newborn child just minutes after giving birth was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.
Juana Perez Valencia was found guilty by a jury on Sept. 28 of one felony count of second-degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.
Prosecutors said that Valencia gave birth in the restroom of the Stanton Mexican food restaurant where she worked as a food server on Dec. 22, 2009. The infant, a girl, was born alive and full-term, weighing just over 6 pounds and 17 inches long, prosecutors said.
Valencia suffocated the baby immediately after giving birth, prosecutors said, then put the infant's body in a plastic bag, which she threw in a garbage bin behind the restaurant.
The next day, prosecutors said, Valencia sought treatment at an Anaheim hospital, and claimed to have been hurt in a fall and denied giving birth. The hospital contacted authorities, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department investigated and retrieved the baby's body.
-- Rick Rojas
Photo: Juana Perez Valencia. Credit: KTLA-TV, Channel 5