VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A mother who was arrested Tuesday on child neglect charges has been arrested 24 times over a 10-year period for different crimes, Volusia County authorities said.
Sheriff's deputies said Cassandra Taylor, 31, was charged with child neglect after a witness said Taylor’s 9-year-old autistic son was found in a diaper "outside of the residence in the chilly weather by himself and whimpering."
Taylor’s brother called. He said he is frustrated after finding his nephew alone for a second time in two days.
After law enforcement officials were called to the DeLeon Springs home, deputies said Taylor's brother spoke with Taylor on the phone. Deputies said Taylor told them she was at her boyfriend’s house and when she was asked to return to her home, she “hung up the phone."
Taylor’s brother said the 9-year-old boy is being cared for by family members.
Channel 9 found that Taylor had been arrested 24 times in Volusia County for charges that included burglary, exploitation of the elderly and theft.
WFTV legal analyst Judge Belvin Perry talked to Channel 9 about the impact that kind of an arrest record can have on custody or visitation rights for a parent.
"The department will always consider if a parent is constantly incarcerated," said Perry.
Perry said the arrests would only be considered a factor if the offenses put the child in danger.
“Any arrests, whether it's one arrest or 200 arrests, you have to show some connection with neglect, abuse or abandonment. Arrests in themselves would not justify the removal of a child from a parent," Perry said.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating.
“The first thing they’re going to do is they’re going to have a shelter hearing where the matter will go before the judge. The Department of Children and Family services will present evidence concerning the neglect and the court will decide on whether or not if they can provide services to the child in the home,” Perry said.
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