Irvine’s mother accused of exposing her young son to fentanyl faces child molestation charges – Orange County Register

A mother of Irvine is being prosecuted after her 23-month-old son was exposed to fentanyl and required resuscitation, the Orange County Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

The boy stopped breathing until he was resuscitated, prosecutors said. He remains in the CHOC in the hospital.

Jacqueline Hunter, 30, was charged with a felony count of child molestation and endangerment with an aggravated sentence for aggravated assault on a child, along with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, according to Orange County Superior Court records.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to the charges, court records show. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that the toddler struggled with breathing shortly after returning from a doctor’s appointment on January 9 for a broken leg. His father reportedly performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

The boy tested positive for fentanyl in the hospital, prosecutors said.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer accused the mother of refusing to provide paramedics with information about possible fentanyl exposure to save her child, calling it “beyond incredible.”

“There is absolutely no reason why the little boy is sitting in a hospital bed right now and can’t breathe on his own,” Spitzer said in a prepared statement. “A parent’s only job is to keep their children safe from harm, and due to a selfish choice by his mother, this baby is struggling to survive.”

A search of the family’s Irvine home by law enforcement allegedly found a bag of fentanyl and Xanax pills, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Hunter’s husband did not know about the drugs. According to a DA statement, the mother is accused of “allowing the baby access to them.”

Prosecutors unsuccessfully requested that bail in the case be increased from $100,000 to $500,000 due to the seriousness of the charges. Instead, prosecutors say Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Sheri Sandecki reduced bail to $30,000, a decision Spitzer criticized.

“The Orange County bank needs to start taking fentanyl cases seriously — and post bail appropriately that reflects the seriousness of the crime and the potentially irreversible harm this woman has caused her own child,” the prosecutor said.

When asked about Spitzer’s criticism of the commissioner’s bail decision, Kostas Kalaitzidis, spokesman for the Orange County Superior Court, said court officials are ethically prohibited from publicly discussing cases being tried in court.

Hunter was still in prison as of Thursday afternoon, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department records.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/12/irvine-mother-accused-of-exposing-young-son-to-fentanyl-is-charged-with-child-abuse/ Irvine’s mother accused of exposing her young son to fentanyl faces child molestation charges – Orange County Register

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