Orange County Criminal Defense

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Charges Filed in Orange County Hospital Baby Abduction

August 9, 2012

Fred Thiagarajah

Grisel Ramirez has been charged with five counts of first-degree burglary (Penal Code section 459-460(a)) and one count of kidnapping (Penal Code section 207), with an enhancement for a victim under the age of 14 (Penal Code section 667.85), for her attempted abduction of a baby from a Garden Grove hospital on August 6, 2012.  Ramirez had posed as a nurse when entering the victim’s room, told the mother of the baby that she needed to take a shower before seeing the doctor and then abducted the baby when the mother was in the bathroom.  Ramirez placed the newborn baby in a tote bag and attempted to leave the hospital, but sensors in the bracelet that the hospital puts on every baby, set off the alarms and Ramirez was apprehended.  Ramirez had visited the same hospital earlier several days earlier and was asking about mothers and their expectant dates.  Her behavior had aroused suspicion in hospital staff who had reported her to the police.  The backstory is that Ramirez had been pretending to be a pregnant woman for the last several months and had told her estranged husband that she was expecting a baby girl.  The husband, who doesn’t live with Ramirez and hadn’t seen her, was completely deceived and is “crushed” that he’s not really having a child.

Law — Burglary is entering any structure with the intent to steal or commit any felony.   Burglary is divided into two subsections — first degree burglary and second degree burglary.  First degree burglary is defined as burglary of an inhabited dwelling, but it also includes the inhabited portion of any structure.  All other types of burglary are second degree burglary.  In this case, the Orange County District Attorney’s office is attempting to define the hospital room as an “inhabited portion” of a structure, which makes Ramirez’s crime first degree burglary.  Normally, though, burglary of any commercial structure is second degree burglary.  The difference between the two in terms of penalties is that first degree burglary is always a felony, is considered a strike offense, and is punishable by in the state prison by two years, four years or six years.  Second degree burglary is a wobbler and is punishable in county prison only, with a triad of 16 months, two years or three years.  For more information on burglary, please visit our website.

Kidnapping is normally defined as forcibly moving a person against their will.  Even moving someone a short distance can constitute kidnapping.  Penal Code section 207(e) states that the amount of force required to kidnap an unresisting infant or child, is the same amount of force that is required to simply take and carry the child away a substantial distance for an illegal purpose or with illegal intent.  Clearly, Ramirez’s conduct in this case, violates Penal Code section 207(e).  Kidnapping is a strike offense and the punishment for kidnapping is defined by Penal Code section 208.  Normally, kidnapping is punishable in the state prison by 3-5-8 years, pursuant to Penal Code section 208(a).  However, kidnapping of a child under the age of 14 is punishable by 5-8-11 years, pursuant to Penal Code section 208(b).  Furthermore, if the defendant had the intent to deprive the parent of custody, then an enhancement can be added which imposes an additional five years custody, pursuant to Penal Code section 667.85.

Ramirez could be facing over 20 years if convicted of all charges.


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