Arely Aide Amaya, 18, cried in court Tuesday after pleading not guilty to child abuse charges related to her alleged leaving of her two-week-old daughter and 1-year-old son inside a locked vehicle. The judge issued a protective order, meaning Amaya may not see the children throughout the duration of the case.
A teen mother who allegedly left her two babies inside a locked car amid a Southern California heat wave pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.
Arely Aide Amaya, 18, broke into tears when the judge ordered her to remain away from the children during the curation of the criminal case.
She is accused of leaving her two-week-old daughter and 1-year-old son inside a locked vehicle to go shopping in Cudahy last weekend, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.
Amaya was arraigned late Tuesday afternoon in East Los Angeles Superior Court.
Her attorney said Amaya, a Los Angeles resident, has no criminal record. He asked that she be released on her own recognizance.
The prosecutor objected, noting Amaya had gone into Forever 21 to buy clothes for a party.
"The people are concerned about the children's safety," the prosecutor said.
The judge sided with the prosecutor, setting bail at $50,000. She also issued a protective order for the children, meaning Amaya is ordered to have no contact with them during the case.
As the judge read the protective order, Amaya began to cry. Her attorney wiped tears from her cheek, and the judge offered tissues.
The hearing came after a Saturday incident in which Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to calls of children stuck in a locked car on a sweltering day. They were able to free the children by unlocking the car door through a cracked window.
Amaya was arrested when she returned to the car after being gone 20 to 25 minutes, a deputy said at the time of the arrest. The children, who had been in back-seat carseats, were taken into county protective custody and placed with their father.
It was estimated to be 110 degrees in the car when the children were found.
Amaya faces two years in county jail if convicted on both counts. She is due back in court Aug. 28.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the date of Amaya's scheduled arraignment.