The child abuse trial for 29-year-old Nicole Gomez-Vilchis has just begun, although the alleged crime took place almost two years ago in 2014. Gomez-Vilchis, a resident of St. Clair Shores, is accused of abusing Kallee, a foster child she was tasked with caring for.
According to court documents, the now-3-year-old Kallee and her brother were removed from their parents’ home as a result of drug use in 2013. They were placed with Gomez-Vilchis and her husband, Hugo. During that time, Gomez-Vilchis was a teacher at Lincoln Middle School, which falls under the umbrella of Van Dyke Public Schools in the city of Warren.
However, on June 29th, 2014, Gomez-Vilchis is alleged to have squeezed the toddler, causing bruising and burst blood vessels in her upper torso and face. That day the couple took Kallee to an urgent care facility, suspecting that she may have a rash. However medical staff there told them to take her to an emergency room.
At St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, emergency room staff suspected abuse. Dr. Marcus DeGraw, a child abuse expert, conducted an examination and determined that Kallee had been abused. The police were contacted and a report was filed. CPS was notified as well and the two children were both removed from the home.
Gomez-Vilchis finally admitted it to police
Police officers interviewed Gomez-Vilchis the day after Kallee was hospitalized, and she denied causing any of the little girl’s injuries. However, three months later during a lengthy interview with a Secret Service Agent, Gomez-Vilchis admitted to squeezing the little girl. In her explanation, she said that the toddler was fussy and that she squeezed her “harder than ever before” for about 15 seconds.
Gomez-Vilchis is facing a single count of Second Degree Child Abuse, which the law describes as “knowingly or intentionally committing an act that is likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to the child, even if the child is not actually harmed.” If convicted, she is facing up to 10 years in prison.
Part of why the trial has been delayed for such a long time had to do with the birth of Gomez-Vilchis’ child. Initially, after the charges were first brought against her, the presiding Judge ordered her to have no contact with children. However, after the birth of her baby that order was repealed.
According to court records, Kallee and her brother were initially placed with relatives after the incident, and then later placed with a new foster family.
The trial, which began on Wednesday in the Macomb County Circuit Court before Judge James Maceroni, is expected to continue this week. We will keep you updated as to the outcome as it develops.