Rafaelle Sousa, Boca Raton, Florida mother who tossed newborn baby in dumpster pleads guilty to attempted murder in plea deal.
A Florida woman who threw her newborn baby girl in a dumpster in 2019 pleaded guilty to attempted murder and child abuse and was sentenced to over seven years in prison while also facing possible deportation, according to reports.
Rafaelle Sousa, who also has a 3-year-old son, told cops that she didn’t know she was pregnant and panicked after the infant hit its head on a toilet seat during the surprise delivery, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Sousa, 38, of Boca Raton said she thought the child was dead because it turned blue and wasn’t breathing.
The Brazil native, who was losing blood herself, then put a plastic bag over the baby’s head, put it in another trash bag and placed it in a dumpster in her West Palm Beach County apartment complex.
It remained unclear why the mother didn’t notify authorities. Or if she had attempted to notify family members and chose as a first impulse to discard the newborn.
‘severe traumatic experience…’
Maintenance workers heard the newborn’s cries and deputies eventually discovered the baby girl inside the bin.
The girl, named Sarah, has now been taken in — along with the son — by Sousa’s boyfriend.
Sousa’s attorney J. Samantha Vacciana told the outlet that her client, who couldn’t write, read or speak English, was under severe duress when she made the decision.
‘People look at her and think they see this monster,’ the lawyer said. ‘What they’re looking at is someone who had a severe traumatic experience that caused them to have an even more severe mental break.
‘Being poor and unsophisticated sometimes is a crime.’
Because Sousa is not a US citizen, she could be deported as part of the deal.
Under Florida’s Safe Haven Law, newborns can be dropped off anonymously at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked, conditional that the child is not injured.