A Salt Lake City woman who ran an unlicensed child care center, and who allegedly admitted to breaking both of a baby’s legs, has told cops she’d rather be deported than go to jail, KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) is reporting. However, whether or not Elvira Ortega, 66, will get her wish remains to be seen, as her immigration status is currently unclear.
Ortega and her daughter, whose name has not been released as of this writing, allegedly ran an unlicensed day-care center out of their home in Salt Lake City. On February 23, the parents of a young boy who had been in Ortega’s care took him to an emergency room with two broken legs. Ortega allegedly admitted to police that she took the boy into the bathroom and slammed him feet-first into the bathroom floor, breaking both of his legs below the knee in the process. Doctors say that in a child who has not even learned to walk yet, there is almost no situation in which he or she can suffer such injuries outside of abuse.
According to the International Business Times, Ortega allegedly admitted to police that she slammed the baby because she was “frustrated” and because he “wouldn’t stop crying.”
She was caring for multiple other children at the time, according to Newsweek.
Once she was arrested, Ortega made strange statements to the police. Specifically, she said she’d rather be deported than go to jail.
There are a couple of problems with that, however. First, you can’t just ask to be deported rather than face trial for your alleged crimes, especially if your immigration status doesn’t allow for deportation. Second, Salt Lake City police are not commenting on Ortega’s immigration status one way or the other.
Authorities did, however, determine Ortega to be a flight risk and set her bond at $100,000.
Deportation is a long and complicated process that isn’t done on a moment’s notice, according to Lawyers.com, and almost certainly not on a criminal defendant’s request. Generally, a person will only be deported if they are in the country illegally or if they do something that violates the terms of their lawful immigration status, such as committing a crime.