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Mar 19, 2014 10:32 PM by Lupita Murillo

News 4 Tucson talks exclusively to attorney of alleged child abuse foster mom

TUCSON - Griselda Badilla was arrested Tuesday night on one count of child abuse. She's in Eloy at the Immigration Detention Center.

She's accused of abusing a 2-year old boy who was in her care. Anthony Amenta was taken to the hospital on March 11th for traumatic brain injury. Badilla is under a Immigration Customs Enforcement hold until its determined she has the correct papers to be in this country.

Further tests show Anthony suffered permanent brain damage. The child and his 7-month old brother were taken away from their parents by Child Protective Services, after their mother tested positive for painkillers. Both parents are now going through court-ordered parenting classes to regain custody of their boys. Anthony has a blood infection that's being treated with antibiotics. His parents tell News 4 Tucson that he also suffered a seizure. But they remain hopeful and have faith their son will heal.

News 4 investigators obtained a copy of the Interim Complaint filed in court. It says the infant was in the hospital for choking on a Cheeto. The child had acute brain hemorrhage but the foster mother denied any involvement. Rafael Gallego represents Badilla. He tells News 4 Tucson, "It's just a sad sad situation. Our thoughts and prayers are going out to Anthony. "

Gallego says he has medical records to prove Anthony had numerous health issues, and that his client is not responsible for the brain injury. Gallego said, "The records we have show he's had a multitude of issues since birth. He was born with drugs, multiple drugs in his system we don't what kind."

Parents, Michael and Shannon Armenta deny he had health problems. They say, before he was taken by CPS, he was happy, growing, and full of life. But, since he was in the Badillas care, he always had bruises, scratches, a broken arm, and now a brain injury.

News 4 Tucson reached out to CPS numerous times regarding the allegations of child abuse but have received no response. We also reached out to the caseworker who hung up.


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