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I-Team: Family Friend Accused of Beating Foster Child


I-Team: Family Friend Accused of Beating Foster Child

Posted: Dec 04, 2012 6:10 PM EST

Updated: Dec 10, 2012 11:53 AM EST

By Colleen McCarty, Investigative Reporter - bio | email

By Kyle Zuelke, Photojournalist - email

LAS VEGAS -- The suspect in a horrific child abuse investigation was a family friend of the child's foster mother, Metro Police said.

In early November, Alexander was taken from his parents and placed in foster care. Ten days later, he is in hospital bed with severe injuries that could be permanent. A portion of the boy's skull has been removed and he's suffered strokes and seizures as a result of his brain injuries.

After Alexander was hospitalized, Metro arrested 21-year-old Osbaldo Sanchez on child abuse charges. According to a police report, Alexander's foster mom, Kasondra Martinsen, left him and another foster child alone with Sanchez while she went to work. Sanchez is not an approved caregiver, according to the Clark County Department of Family Services.

In an interview with police, Sanchez allegedly told detectives that Alexander was injured by a fall in the bathroom. The story was contradicted by the other foster child in the home and medical evidence, according to investigators.

"The person who was responsible for the safety and the welfare of this child, the foster mother, made a horrible decision to allow this child to be supervised by someone who was not an appropriate care provider," said Cheryl Kegley, an abuse and neglect specialist for Metro Police.

The police report said Martinson, the foster mother, initially lied to police about what happened to Alexander and about her whereabouts when the incident occurred. The I-Team has been unable to reach her for comment.

Alexander was injured Nov. 10. The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services did not disclose the incident -- as required by law -- until the I-Team starting asking about it. In a written statement, the department pledged to re-educate foster parents about its babysitting policies.

In a statement, the county's Family Services Department said:

"The Department of Family Services conducts a criminal history and background check on all prospective foster parents. We also provide comprehensive training to all foster parents prior to licensure. Our policies and procedures address babysitting and who may or may not provide care for our children. We require that anyone who provides extended babysitting for foster children be approved by the department subsequent to a criminal history and background check review. Our foster parents are educated about who can and cannot provide babysitting services and the processes we use to approve anyone they would like to help care for children.

"In this case, the foster parent was aware of our expectations around who could care for the children placed in her home and chose to disregard them. We cannot condone that behavior. Her license is pending suspension, and no children remain in her care.

"We also will be working to re-educate our foster parents about our babysitting policies and our expectations related to others who care for our children. We believe that the policies and processes we have in place, when followed, protect our children. We know this incident does not characterize the hundreds of caring foster parents in Clark County who have stepped forward to fill a vital role in our community."

2012 Dec 10