Using their platform. Netflix series The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez left viewers distraught over the horrific torture inflicted on 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez and the systemic problems that allowed the abuse to continue. Several celebrities have spoken out about the chilling docuseries, including rapper Cardi B and Teen Mom star Briana DeJesus.
While stars and fans alike have taken to Twitter to voice their disgust for such brutality being inflicted on a child, several have also shared their unanswered questions. Many of which include the whereabouts of Fernandez’s biological father while he was being tortured by his mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre.
Unfortunately, Fernandez’s dad, Arnold Contreras, was behind bars while his son was being abused. “I was in Riverside County jail and the chaplain pulled me out, said [Gabriel] was on life support, and that they were going to take him off the next day,” he recalled as he testified at Aguirre’s trial in November 2017. “I felt hopeless, guilty. I should’ve been there.”
Additionally, many wondered if justice was truly served. Fernandez’s abusers were arrested on May 23, 2013, and charged with capital murder in connection to his death on May 28 of that year. Their trial began in August 2013 and they both pleaded not guilty on July 1, 2015. Aguirre was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death on November 15, 2017. Pearl pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on February 24, 2018, and sentenced to life without parole.
As for the four social workers who were privy to the abuse, they were all charged with one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of falsifying documents on April 7, 2016. Prosecutors argued the county Department of Children and Family Services employees minimized “the significance of the physical, mental and emotional injuries that Gabriel suffered … [and] allowed a vulnerable boy to remain at home and continue to be abused.”
A motion to dismiss the case was denied on September 13, 2018, but the case was thrown out in 2020. “Although there may be consequences to social workers who fail to fulfill” their duties, the court stated, “the consequences do not include criminal liability for child abuse.”
Scroll below to see what stars have to say about the jaw-dropping documentary.
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