A baby is dead, and prosecutors say the infant was killed by her own mother. But the claims being made by a Long Island housekeeper show the prosecution of Santos Elena Ruiz Solano will be anything but easy. The maid charged with murder claims she was raped.
Upsetting? Certainly. But if it's true, does it matter in the long run?
Solano, who came to the United States from Honduras six months ago, is charged with murder after police say she delivered a baby girl in her employee's bathroom, killed the infant, and then stuffed her in a bag. The 26-year-old allegedly gave the bag to her husband for disposal, but he became suspicious and looked inside the bag. The husband and employer are the ones said to have called police.
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Medical examiners have determined the baby was born alive and alleged she had three skull fractures that would have required “significant force.” Solano, on the other hand, is contending the baby was stillborn, and her lawyer claims the fractures came from falling against the toilet bowl during delivery.
The latter is a little hard to believe, and it certainly sounds like mom should be in trouble here ... big trouble.
But how does the rape claim play into all of this?
More to the point: should it play into all of this at all?
Certainly no one gets a pass on killing a baby -- if that's what happened here (remember, we're still in allegations territory; no one has been convicted).
But the defendant's state of mind always plays into things, and few things can upset a woman's apple cart like rape. A rape victim can experience everything from post traumatic stress disorder to suicidal tendencies.
Making choices about what to do with an unintended pregnancy is hard enough for a woman who was a willing participant in a sexual encounter is hard enough. Add rape to the equation, and it can be darn near paralyzing for a woman. Not to mention Honduras is a country known to have some of the strictest laws in the world regarding emergency contraception. "Dealing with" the aftermath of rape would not have been easy for this woman.
If Solano was truly raped -- that's up for her lawyers to prove -- it wouldn't be a reason to kill a baby. There is no such thing.
But it would certainly create sympathy for the defendant, wouldn't it? Maybe even call for some lenience in sentencing?
What do you think of the mother's claim here? Should she be given any sort of consideration for her ordeal?
Image via Suffolk County Police