Woman pleads guilty for neglecting children to play poker

Lincy Santos, 28, pled guilty to charges against her for leaving her children home alone while she went to play poker. Her March arrest in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was the fourth time she'd been arrested for the same crime.

During her court appearance Wednesday, Santos pled guilty to child neglect as part of a plea agreement that gave her a six-month suspended prison sentence, six months of probation and ordered her to pay a $100 court assessment fee.

Santos, a Filipino, also informed the court that she would voluntarily depart the CNMI Sunday after the judge ordered her to refer herself to immigration officials for the deportation process or leave the CNMI voluntarily within 14 months.

In March, Santos was arrested and charged with neglect for leaving her three children, ages 1, 2, and 7, home alone from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. while she went a local establishment to play poker. Santos, who was also nine-months pregnant at the time, was arrested after the police were called, and they found her playing poker.

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.

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