Harrisburg woman gets 2-4 years for neglect of care-dependent daughter

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A city woman will spend at least two years in prison for neglecting her care-dependent 9-year-old daughter.

Milady Ortiz, 35, was ordered to serve two to four years in state prison followed by five years of probation when she was sentenced Tuesday in Dauphin County Court, according to the district attorney’s office.

Ortiz pleaded guilty in September to aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Authorities said Ortiz’s daughter, Sequoia Penn, was severely malnourished and extremely dehydrated when she was rushed to a hospital in October 2012. A caseworker from Dauphin County Children and Youth Services had called for an ambulance after visiting the home.

Prosecutors said the girl, who was born with cerebral palsy and confined to a bed, was also unkempt, ill-groomed, and had an active lice infestation.

Sequoia was hospitalized for severe weight loss two years earlier. After she was released from the hospital, authorities said Ortiz repeatedly missed follow-up appointments, nine straight in three months, even after caseworkers arranged to provide transportation.

Before Ortiz’s sentencing, Sequoia’s father, Thomas Penn, was sentenced to 6-23 months in Dauphin County Prison for his role in his daughter’s negligent care.

Penn was living and working in Pittsburgh in the six weeks before his daughter was hospitalized in 2012 and he was not the girl’s primary caretaker, but prosecutors said he still was criminally negligent in ensuring that his daughter was getting proper care.

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