A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Thursday dismissed charges against four social workers accused of child abuse and falsifying records related to the torture death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez. The social workers were accused of failed their “legal duty” to protect Gabriel, who died after months of abuse by his mother and her boyfriend who believed Gabriel was gay. Prosecutors alleged the social workers also falsified documents related to his case.
L.A’s Department of Children and Family Services said the agency had “taken significant steps to mitigate risk and improve our capacity” to serve vulnerable children since the 2013 death. An appellant panel ruled in January that the four workers shouldn’t face charges. The boy’s mother, Pearl Sinthia, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, was sentenced to death. Gabriel’s death, and the legal fallout, was documented in the 2020 Netflix series The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.