Lincy C. Santos, 28, a nine-months pregnant woman residing in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), was arrested for the fourth time this past Monday after allegedly leaving her children unattended at home while she went to play poker, it was reported by the Saipan Tribute. According to the newspaper, Santos was arrested last year for the same crime and was convicted of child neglect. Police confirmed that this is the fourth time Santos has been arrested on these charges.
Neighbors reported that Santos left her three children, who range in age from 1- to 7-years-old, alone inside her house for five hours while she went to play poker, which police said they saw her doing.
At a hearing held on March 7 in the courtroom of Superior Court Associate Judge Ramona Villagomez Manglona, Santos was released because of her pregnancy and was ordered to observe a daily curfew and to avoid all poker venues, among other conditions.
According to the Saipan Tribune, Santos was last arrested in May, 2005, on charges of disturbing the peace. She was ordered to serve six months in prison (all suspended save for one day) and to pay a $50 fine and $85 in court assessment and probation fees. She was also required to serve 40 days of community service and to undergo counseling.
The Attorney General's office also charged Santos with three counts of child abuse, one for each of her children, at the time aged 6-years-old, 1-year-old, and 5 months, who she left at home while she went to play poker at a local gambling house.
Editor's Note: CNMI is located in the South Pacific Ocean about three-quarters the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. An island territory, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is joined in a political union with the United States and retains an independent government and constitution. The territory consists of 14 different islands, of which Saipan, Rota, and Tinian are the largest. As of July, 2005, its population was counted at 80,362.