Two local activists spoke Monday in support of an Oxnard woman accused of abandoning her newborn in a Nyeland Acres strawberry field last year.
The baby was found dead in a field along Central Avenue on May 21, 2012. Authorities said the baby was full-term when it was born in the field and left for dead.
Rosalba Cruz Moran, 21, was arrested on suspicion of murder and using false documents to work in the U.S. In jail since her arrest in late 2012, she has pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
“I am calling for an informed judicial process in Rosalba Cruz Moran’s case,” Denis O’Leary said during a news conference Monday morning outside Ventura County Superior Court.
O’Leary, an activist and Oxnard School District board member, said his call does not mean he considers her “entirely innocent.” But he wants the court to consider Moran’s history, saying she reportedly was sexually assaulted in Mexico and pregnant when she fled to the U.S. She has family in Oxnard.
Theadora Davitt-Cornyn, involved in community and farmworker ministries, said she has been visiting Moran in jail weekly during the past year. They don’t talk about the case, she said, but she wants Moran to know that she is not alone.
Moran apparently is Mixteco, an indigenous group in Mexico. O’Leary said groups and agencies have to get the word out to such communities about services such as the Safely Surrendered Baby Law. The law lets parents or legal guardians surrender an infant within 72 hours of birth with no questions asked at certain approved locations, such as hospitals and fire stations.