Onetime Naperville mom guilty in Kansas Walmart child neglect case
BY BILL BIRD firstname.lastname@example.org January 17, 2013 2:46PM
Former Naperville resident Deborah M. Gomez, 43, was placed on a year of probation Wednesday in a case in which two of her children were found bound and blindfolded in the parking lot of a Lawrence, Kan. Walmart. Her husband, Adolfo Gomez Jr., 52, remains in Douglas County, Kan. Jail, awaiting sentencing in the case.
Updated: January 17, 2013 4:05PM
A former Naperville resident was placed on a year of probation Wednesday after she and her husband left their two youngest children bound and blindfolded in a Walmart parking in Kansas.
Angela Keck, Deborah M. Gomez’s court-appointed attorney, said her client unwillingly participated in binding the children, which the woman’s husband Adolfo Gomez did to ward off demons.
Deborah Gomez, 43, last month pleaded no contest to three counts of child endangerment. Adolfo Gomez,52, previously pleaded no contest to two counts of felony child abuse and three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, and is to be sentenced Feb. 8.
Deborah Gomez, convicted of child endangerment in a separate case while living in Naperville, has been in custody with her husband in Douglas County, Kan., since June 13. That was when authorities found the couple’s 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter bound by their hands and feet in a Walmart parking lot in Lawrence, Kan.
The couple’s three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were found unrestrained inside the family’s Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Deborah Gomez said she hopes to regain custody of the children, who have been placed in protective custody.
She also said, if granted permission from probation officials, she plans to move to Arizona. The Gomez family was going to visit relatives there when the couple were arrested in Kansas.
“I love my children very much,” Deborah Gomez said.
In 1998, Naperville police arrested Adolfo and Deborah Gomez after they left their infant sons home alone. The boys at the time were 1 and 2. A subsequent investigation revealed both parents worked at night. The Gomezes pleaded guilty in the case.-
The Associated Press contributed to this report.