Teen accused of trying to flush baby down the toilet released
Cherlie Lafleur, 19, was arrested earlier this month after a custodian at McCaskey East High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, discovered the body of a young baby in a trash can in the ladies restroom at the school. She has been in prison ever since on $1 million bail.
However, the Intelligencer Journal reports that after a Tuesday hearing, Judge Louis Farina granted Lafleur immediate release on condition that she surrender her passport and be subject to electronic monitoring. She is also forbidden from leaving the county and must check in regularly with bail officials.
An autopsy found that Lafleur's baby was between 27 and 29 weeks' gestation, well past the point of viability.
Surveillance footage at the school allowed police to track down the teen as the suspect.
Authorities have not yet said whether they believe the baby was born alive, or stillborn. Lafleur’s attorney says his client believes it was stillborn.
Attorney James Gratton told the court that Lafleur, who moved to the United States from Haiti after an earthquake in 2010 and speaks little English, had little to no prenatal care. "She did not tell anyone at McCaskey that she was pregnant," Gratton said.
He also argued that the $1 million bail was too high.
According to SecretSafe.org, Pennsylvania is among the states with a Safe Haven law that allows a mother to leave her child, up to 28 days old, at any hospital in the state without having to reveal her identity.
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News about Lafleur's alleged actions broke days after the pro-life group Live Action released an undercover video from a late-term abortion clinic in New York, in which a counselor told an undercover investigator to "flush" her baby down the toilet if it is born alive during an abortion.
“Some patients will just sit in the bathroom and try and push. Um, don’t do that,” the counselor told the Live Action investigator.
The investigator then asked what to do if the baby comes out while she is at home.
“If it comes out, then it comes out. Flush it…if anything, you know, put it in a bag or something or somewhere and bring it to us,” the counselor said.