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Devain Flores Sr. pleads guilty in child cruelty case

Posted: Monday, June 3, 2024. 9:59 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Devain Dion Flores Sr., 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of child cruelty after a viral video showed him abusing a 3-year-old boy in public. During a mitigation hearing on Monday, Flores Sr. opted not to call character witnesses after his mother, common-law wife, brother, and a fourth witness were unable to attend.

Flores Sr. expressed remorse, stating, “I take full responsibility for my actions…I had no intention to be cruel.” He revealed his past, including a previous burglary conviction and current employment at the National Sports Council.

Despite his plea, the court session concluded with a decision on sentencing postponed until Friday, June 7, 2024. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, who prosecuted the case himself, pushed for a minimum 12-month custodial sentence, arguing a fine was insufficient.

The court declined to view the viral video, deeming it prejudicial. Instead, testimony from Shawn Vargas, Director of Human Services, highlighted the severe impact of public child abuse.

Flores Sr., now dismissed from his job, remains in Belize Central Prison. The case has drawn significant attention to child abuse in Belize, with recent statistics indicating a troubling rise in such incidents. He returns to court on June 7 for sentencing.

 

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