Justice for Eight-Year-Old Boy Allegedly Tortured and Beaten to Death

Target: Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey

Goal: Punish social workers whose alleged negligence allowed an eight-year-old boy to be tortured to death.

Four social workers have been charged with child abuse and falsifying records in the case of the murder of Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old boy. There were several investigations of the abusive household, but none of the social workers did anything to remove Gabriel from the dangerous environment. Their alleged negligence was criminal, and they should not be allowed to walk free when the boy never had a chance to. Demand that all four of these social workers be punished to the full extent of the law.

Stefanie Rodriguez, Patricia Clement, Kevin Bom, and Gregory Merritt visited the Fernandez family several times, but failed to report the full intensity of the abuse going on in the household. Prosecutors allege that they “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.” The boy was then allegedly beaten to death after being pepper sprayed, forced to eat his own vomit, and locked in a cabinet. After his death, officials just decided to close his case.

When the social workers were charged as criminally negligent, they were immediately fired from their jobs. However, Gregory Merritt appealed his termination and was then reinstated to his job that pays $116,000 annually.

The performance of these social workers is one of the worst ever seen. They do not represent the hard-working people who strive to bring abused kids to safety and should be convicted of their charges. Sign this petition to make sure that these people are punished appropriately and justice is brought to Gabriel Fernandez.


Dear District Attorney Lacey,

In the case of the the torture-killing of eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, the four social workers who investigated the household have been charged with charged with child abuse and falsifying records. They have not been convicted yet, and one of the social workers has even been reinstated into his job. These social workers need to go to jail so as to be appropriately punished for their negligence.

Even after seeing the physical, mental, and emotional abuse of Gabriel, Stefanie Rodriguez, Patricia Clement, Kevin Bom, and Gregory Merritt did nothing to remove him from the dangerous household. They downplayed the severity of the abuse in records, and because the boy wasn’t removed, he ended up being beaten to death in a horrific manner.

If these social workers had done their job, Gabriel Fernandez would still be alive. All four of them, including the one who was reinstated into his job, need to be given the harshest punishment possible if they’re convicted.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Martin Niese

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One Comment

  1. Robert Ortiz says:

    Social workers have a responsibility to the people they are supposed to help and the communities in which they are supposed to do the helping. If they fail to work to the best of their abilities, fail to meet performance standards and more importantly fail to help the people their supposed to then dire consequences will follow for all involved. If guilty of wrongdoing they need to be punished to the fullest extent, not just a slap on the wrist or termination alone or as in the case of Mr. Merritt terminated then reinstated to his high paying job which he obviously did not deserve to hold in the first place!

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