Woman sentenced for death of baby, fathered by step-father, she birthed as young teen

A 39-year-old woman is headed to jail for the death of a baby she gave birth to shortly after her 14th birthday, a judge ordered Monday.

The woman was repeatedly sexually abused by her step-father from the age of 10 to 16. He is the father of the baby the woman killed in a remote RV park in Western Australia in 1995, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The woman, whose identity is not being released because she is a victim of child sexual abuse, gave birth to a baby boy alone inside of a toilet cubicle at the RV park in Kambalda.

According to Perth Children's Court, the girl tried to get the baby to stop crying by stuffing toilet paper in his mouth.

The baby, whom investigators would later name "Rijul" -- which is Hindi for "innocent" -- suffocated. She left the body in the toilet bowl before heading back to the area where she was staying with relatives.

The woman kept it all a secret for the next 24 years, until she was arrested in 2019 on an unrelated drug charge.

The fingerprints provided by the woman after that arrested matched those taken from the toilet booth in 1995. The woman's attorney, Karen Farley, says her client had no choice but to hide the birth:

She felt she couldn't tell anybody, that she would lose everything — that's what was in her mind."

DNA tests confirmed the woman was the baby's mother and that her step-father was the baby's father. He has since pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse charges for abusing his step-daughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced later this year.

Investigators say the woman explained what happened and admitted to causing the baby's death.

Prosecutors originally charged the woman with murder -- but she pleaded guilty to infanticide and was sentenced to 16 months in jail. The judge suspended 12 of those months.


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