Raymondville trustee arrested for leaving child unattended

RAYMONDVILLE — Raymondville school board member Janie Cruz is facing a charge after leaving her 7-year-old girl home alone.

Earlier this week, Municipal Judge Felicita Gutierrez charged Cruz with abandoning and endangering a child with intent to return, a state jail felony, Jacob Rodriguez, the Raymondville Police Department’s crime victims’ advocate, said Wednesday.

Rodriguez said officers arrested Cruz at her home at about 1 p.m. Tuesday after the girl’s father called police to tell officers she had left the 7-year-old girl alone at her home in the 700 block of Rocky Street in Raymondville.

Cruz had apparently left the girl alone for about an hour, Rodriguez said

“ The child was unattended at the residence,” he said. “Her father was working and the child was supposed to be in the mother’s care.”

Rodriguez said he didn’t know the reason Cruz left the girl alone.

On Tuesday, Gutierrez arraigned Cruz, allowing her to post a personal recognizance bond.

“ There are a lot of factors I take into consideration,” Gutierrez said Wednesday, referring to her decision to allow defendants to post personal recognizance bonds. “Number one, whether there’s a flight risk, whether there’s a history of similar charges or criminal records. There’s the fact (Cruz) is on the school board.”

In 2017, Cruz won election to the school board, defeating incumbent Ramiro Ramirez.

Later that year, she was one of two board members to oppose the hiring of Superintendent Stetson Roane.

In recent months, Cruz has fought the board’s push to censure her.

Cruz could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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