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Former day care provider pleads guilty to child abuse
The Denver Post | June 4, 2000


That one word, spoken by former day care provider Shawna Pint as she pleaded guilty to child abuse, was the word Gred and Jacqueline Rodriguez have waited for.

"It is really emotional - to finally hear the word. She has never shown any remorse. I have been waiting to hear her take responsibility for almost two years. It offers the beginning of closure for us," Jacqueline Rodriguez said.

On October 19, 1998, her toddler son, Hunter Rodriguez, was admitted to Children's Hospital with shaken baby syndrome after staying in Pint's licensed day care home.

Hunter, then about 15 months old, had been skaken so severely that his brain was bleeding and swollen. He lapsed into a coma. The retnias in his eyes had become detached and his parents were told he might never see again.

His mother said they waited for Pint to disclose what happened during the month that followed when she was arrested on charges of child abuse, while Hunter lay limp with unfocused eyes as he began his recovery in Children's Hospital.

Friday, a tearful, sobbing Pint told District Judge John Leopold that she was guilty of child abuse resulting in the brain damage to Hunter Rodriguez.

Pint made the statement as part of a plea bargain with Arapahoe County prosecutors which reduced two child abuse charges to one lesser charge. At her sentencing Sep. 29, Pint could be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Pint remains free on bond.

The plea agreement also requires Pint to meet with a child protection team from Kempe Center to disclose what happened the day that Hunter Rodriguez was injured.

"I think it is like a confession. She will have to get up front with what went on,' said Mike Knight, spokesman for District Attorney Jim Peters.

Greg and Jacqueline Rodriguez said Friday that they hope after Pint's interview they will finally learn what happened to their son.

"She need to pay. She needs to take responsibility. So, yes, she should get some jail time," Jacqueline Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says that Hunter has regained some of his health but remains in physical, occupational and speech therapy.

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