PARTY HOSTESS SENTENCED IN FRIEND'S DEATH
Girl, 14, To Serve Six Months For Giving 8th-Grader `Ecstasy'
A 14-year-old Belmont girl will serve six months in a juvenile hall
``therapeutic detention'' program after admitting Thursday that she
gave the drug ``ecstasy'' to a friend at a sleepover she hosted,
leading to the friend's death.
The sentence is meant to rehabilitate rather than punish the girl,
said San Mateo County District Attorney Jim Fox. The Mercury News is
not naming the girl because she is a juvenile.
Irma Perez, an eighth-grader at Belmont's Ralston Middle School, died
April 28, five days after taking an apparent overdose of ecstasy
during the sleepover.
The girl who hosted the party and another 14-year-old were arrested
April 30 and charged with providing ecstasy to a minor and allowing a
child to suffer. Prosecutors say Irma would have lived had the other
teens called 911 after their friend became sick.
An ambulance was not called until the next morning, when the Belmont
girl's parents found Irma. She was taken unconscious to Lucile Salter
Packard Children's Hospital and taken off life support several days
The parents of the girl sentenced Thursday did not return phone calls
for comment. Irma's family has declined to speak to the press.
Prosecutors had asked a judge to sentence the girl who hosted the
party to the California Youth Authority, but Fox said he was satisfied
that the detention center would be appropriate.
``Probation was concerned about the effect it might have on her if she
was put in to a facility with more hard-core people,'' Fox said.
The girl has already served 90 days in Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, but
that time will not be counted toward her sentence, Fox said. She was
to be transferred to the therapeutic detention unit immediately after
Thursday's hearing. According to a county Web site, young people who
have been sentenced to the program are required to participate in
mental health and substance abuse counseling.
Three other people also have been charged in Irma's
Antonio Rivera, 20, of Belmont, has pleaded not guilty to seven felony
drug and conspiracy counts and remains in jail in lieu of $1 million
bail. A 17-year-old boy has been charged with involuntary manslaughter
and drug-related crimes. Prosecutors believe the two were involved in
providing the girls with the ecstasy after school the day of the party.
month, 18-year-old Angelique Malabey pleaded no contest
to helping Rivera cover up the crime. In a plea agreement, Malabey
agreed to serve no more than one year in jail for taking drugs from
Rivera's apartment after Irma's death.