Prosecution to drop charges vs deceased accused of child abuse

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The prosecution in the case of one of two women charged with child abuse wants to move the court to dismiss the charges against one of the defendants who recently passed away.

The case of Lynn Fitial, one of two women who were charged with child abuse over the death of a 3-year-old boy, was recently taken off calendar due to illness. Last week, it was learned that the Office of the Attorney General’s criminal division will ask the court to dismiss the charge of child abuse against Fitial following her recent passing. The cause of her death was not immediately learned.

As for Stacey Laniyo, the other woman involved in the child abuse case, her request for a new trial is scheduled to be heard before Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo on Sept. 23 at 1:30pm.

Fitial, 45, and Laniyo, 37, were arrested following the death of the 3-year-old boy who was adopted by Fitial and her partner, Laniyo.

Laniyo and Fitial, who were each charged with one count of child abuse, were to have separate trials.

According to court documents, Laniyo struck the boy with a tree branch, a broom, or her hand or by biting him resulting in injury clearly beyond the scope of reasonable corporal punishment and harming or threatening the child’s physical or mental health and wellbeing.

As for Fitial, the prosecution said she failed to provide medical care for the boy resulting in his death.

Back in June this year, Laniyo was found guilty of one count of child abuse by a jury and was remanded to the custody of the Department of Correction.

Laniyo, through attorney Mark Scoggins, filed a motion for a new trial back on July 1 alleging that she did not receive a fair trial because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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