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home : latest news : local February 5, 2016

8/12/2013 8:37:00 AM
Child abuse charges dismissed against woman, husband may follow
Herminia Ibarra-Mitchell
Herminia Ibarra-Mitchell
Jerome Mitchell
Jerome Mitchell
Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

Child abuse charges have been dropped on a Prescott Valley woman and her husband will likely also have similar charges against him dropped as well, according to court documents.

Jerome Mitchell, 60, and Herminia Ibarra-Mitchell, 60, were arrested on Jan. 15. Jerome was accused of child abuse, and Herminia was accused of child abuse and child molestation. A police report said a teacher of the victim - a girl - noticed scratches and "extensive bruising" on the girl and the school called Prescott Valley police.

The school official who made the call said that she had training and experience that led her to believe the girl was an abuse victim, the report said, and she found bruises over "a large portion of her body."

The victim told police that she didn't want to tell them how she got the injuries because a family member "told her not to talk about it or tell anyone," according to a police probable cause statement.

On July 29, Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley found that Herminia was not competent to stand trial and not treatable by the Yavapai County Restoration to Competency program. She dismissed the charges against Herminia and released her. A court record notes that her "family intends to pursue guardianship (of the children) in the future."

That same day, Jerome appeared before Ainley for a pretrial conference.

However, a document notes that "defense counsel informs the court that there have been discussions with the state regarding potential dismissal" and attorney Daniel Kaiser requested a continuance until an Aug. 19 change-of-plea appearance.

Jerome is out of custody on $15,000 bond.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy

Related Stories:
• Man gets 12 months probation for suspected child abuse
• Man takes plea in child abuse case, does not admit fault

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