exposing the dark side of adoption
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News briefs from California's Central Coast


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — A judge doubled bail to $1 million for a jailed day care provider charged with locking up two of her adopted children in cagelike quarters and confining a third to a filthy room.

Superior Court Judge Joseph Lodge called it "one of the more serious child abuse cases I've had" and noted the $500,000 bail was being hiked because she was a likely flight risk.

"I think, everything considered, this would be a real temptation for the defendant to flee," Lodge said.

Sylvia Jovanna Vasquez, 50, who operated a state-licensed day care business in her Foothill Road home, was arrested Friday and charged with abusing the three children — a 13-year-old boy and two girls, ages 9 and 6. A 12-year-old girl was unharmed.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Joyce Dudley said law enforcement officers found the children, possibly undernourished and surrounded by filth. The prosecutor also said Vasquez allegedly "injected the 12-year-old daughter with Lupron, which blocks (the onset of) puberty."

Dudley said the child told investigators her mother "was injecting her with that (drug) so she would stay little."

Additional charges were possible, he said.

2006 Jan 12