FARMINGTON — The parents of an Aztec boy diagnosed with Down syndrome say they were horrified to receive videos of his babysitters allegedly making their child smoke from a bong and seeing him hit in the face with a 5-gallon water jug.
Lindsay Moss, 19, and Dallas Baron, 19, are facing two third-degree felony counts of child abuse, according to court documents.
Moss is accused of holding a bong to then 8-year-old Bricen Greenhaus’ face and having him breathe in the smoke, along with throwing an empty 5-gallon water jug at the child’s face, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Baron is accused of making a video recording of the incidents that allegedly occurred sometime in May 2017, according to court documents.
Moss’ public defender, Mary Weber, did not respond to requests for comment. Moss faces an additional charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to court records.
Adam Bell, Baron’s attorney, said his client entered a not guilty plea on Aug. 13 when she waived her arraignment in Aztec District Court.
He added the case is still in the early stages of discovery, and the next step is interviewing anyone involved in the case.
The investigation was launched by the Aztec Police Department after it was contacted on June 22 by the child’s parents, Josh and Amanda Greenhaus, the affidavit states.
Josh Greenhaus had received copies of two videos of the alleged incidents via Snapchat earlier that day.
A female not charged in the case shared the videos with Josh on June 22. She said she didn’t feel right about keeping the videos Baron had sent her in secret, according to court documents.
Josh Greenhaus watched the videos first, then contacted the police.
“The officer made me watch the videos to verify it was my son,” Amanda Greenhaus said. “I didn’t want to watch them.”
Bricen has been diagnosed with Down syndrome and is nonverbal, meaning he is unable to speak about the alleged incidents, his father said.
“I became extremely angry and emotional,” Josh Greenaus said about the videos. “I didn’t know what to do, I was so beside myself.”
Baron told the officer she was present, and she did record the two videos with her cellphone.
Moss told an officer that Baron had pressured her into committing the incidents, stating it would be funny.
The boy’s mother said she felt disgusted by the videos, adding it hurt to see the suspects pretend to be her son’s friend and then betray his trust.
The parents said they thank the community for their support.
A sign bearing the phrase “Justice for Bricen” has been set up adjacent to a shopping center in Flora Vista along N.M. Highway 516.
“It makes you feel good that people care, and they want to see justice,” Amanda Greenhaus said.
The parents have conducted interviews with state and national television news programs regarding the child abuse case.
All that attention has led to Bell filing an emergency motion to modify the conditions of release for his client Baron. The motion filed Tuesday seeks to permit Baron to leave the state of New Mexico for her own safety due to threats she allegedly has received.
The San Juan County District Attorney’s Office acknowledged in the motion it has received threats of harm against Baron from as far as Lancashire, England, and did not oppose the motion.
The next court date for Baron and Moss is scheduled for the morning of Oct. 22 in Aztec District Court.
The suspects were booked and released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center last month.
Amanda said she is working to develop an organization called Bricen’s Voice, which would advocated for the rights of special-needs children.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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