Mother gets probation in child abuse case

The mother of a baby boy who suffered for 10 days with arm and leg fractures before he was taken for medical treatment was sentenced Monday to probation which includes a six-month jail term.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced April Mastrian, 29, to four years in prison which he suspended, and placed her on five years probation.

He ordered her to serve six months in Douglas County Jail as a term of her probation and gave her credit for the 140 days she has been incarcerated.

She may be released from jail in 40 days.

Mastrian pleaded guilty to felony child neglect for failing to obtain medical care for her son.

"I hope this is a day you will remember forever," Gibbons said. "You get another chance to put your family first. The way to do that is to never again use drugs."

He ordered Mastrian to successfully complete Western Regional Drug Court and abstain from alcohol and controlled substances during her probation.

If she fails probation, Mastrian faces up to four years in Nevada State Prison and would have to serve a minimum of 12 months before she could apply for parole.

Mastrian begged Gibbons for a chance "to be a mother again and not harm my children."

"Being downstairs (in jail) and watching mothers come through, I realized it was not only my son who was harmed. My oldest three are having a hard time, too. I ask for the chance to go out and be a mom again, only better than before."

Mastrian wept as her son's Court-Appointed Special Advocate described the injuries to the little boy who was 14 months old when he was either "hit forcibly or physically thrown."

"He was a beginning walker, he couldn't run, he was defenseless," the volunteer said.

Today, she said, the child is "a delightful, joyful 23-month old boy."

Officials believe the abuse occurred Nov. 8, 2005, when Mastrian left her five children, including the victim's twin sister, in the care of her ex-boyfriend in Carson City while she went to Reno for methamphetamine.

When she picked up the children, she noticed her son was hurt, but said she was afraid to take him for treatment because she was using methamphetamine and already was under investigation by Nevada Division of Child Protective Services.

No one was charged with the attack which left the child with fractures to his right forearm and right lower leg.

Doctors said his pain would have been significant to severe for the 10 days the child was untreated. His grandmother took him to the doctor after a day care worker mentioned that the little boy wasn't using his arm or leg.

Gibbons said he was not only appalled by Mastrian's behavior but by the fact that no arrest was made in the case by Carson City officials.

"I am really surprised when you saw the mark on (his) face and how he was acting, you didn't call the police right away," Gibbons said. "It's most shocking Carson City didn't file charges in the case. Child Family Services knew and nothing happened.

"It's really appalling you would let it go, that the authorities would let it go to this day and did nothing to follow it up."

He ordered Mastrian to complete 100 hours of community service within the first year of probation.

She must complete substance abuse treatment and attend a 12-step program twice a week and obtain a sponsor.

Her children have been placed with their grandmother. Mastrian is also in the midst of court proceedings to determine whether she will regain custody.


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