Friday Dec 05 2008
Couple enrolling in parenting classes following child cruelty sentence
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Marks say they want to move forward
An Auburn couple sentenced for not properly caring for their infant daughter said they are ready to move on to the next steps of rehabilitation. Abraham, 49, and Monica, 38, Mark appeared in a Roseville courtroom Friday for a review in front of Judge Frances Kearney. Monica Mark showed proof that she had enrolled in a 52-week parenting class that starts next week. Abraham Mark was recently released on bail from federal custody concerning his immigration status. Kearney instructed him to get a referral to a parenting class and start taking classes before the couple’s next court date in March. Outside of the courtroom, defense attorney Dean Starks said Abraham Mark is still undergoing an immigration process that he thinks his client will “ultimately win.” Abraham Mark said he has lived in the country for the past 20 years and hopes to end the immigration battle soon. He spoke on behalf of himself and his wife, Monica, about the couple’s future. “What happened has happened and I can’t change it,” Abraham Mark said Friday. “If I could change it I would, but we can only learn from our past.” In January, the couple’s then 8-week-old daughter, Shelia, was admitted to a local hospital reportedly “hours from death.” Placer County Child Protective Services officials determined the baby was dehydrated and severely malnourished. The Marks were subsequently arrested and each charged with one felony count of cruelty to a child. In August, Monica Mark pleaded no contest to felony cruelty to a child by abuse and neglect. Abraham Mark pleaded no contest to being an accessory to child abuse and neglect, a felony. The couple was sentenced to four years formal probation. Monica Mark was ordered to serve 300 days in Placer County Jail for which she had 297 credits in August. Abraham Mark was sentenced to 309 days in county jail and had 309 credits. Both are only allowed supervised visitation to see Shelia pending approval of Child Protective Services. Monica Mark has two additional children who she can also see during supervised visits. Starks said the couple is going to work hard to regain custody of their daughter. Abraham Mark added that he wants to have a positive mentality. “We have to move forward,” Abraham Mark said. Abraham and Monica Mark are scheduled to appear in Placer County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. March 6 in Dept. 31 at the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.