Orange County deputies have made an arrest in a case involving a toddler who was allegedly murdered last month in an Orlando-area motel room while under the care of the mother's boyfriend. Jonathan Charapata was arrested in Deltona on the afternoon of Saturday, June 7. Charapata has not been charged with murder but has been charged with felony child abuse. He was chaperoning three children in the hotel room while their mother was at work. The two siblings of the deceased child were bruised and showed other signs of abuse.
The children's mother, Merissa Anderson, has also been arrested on three counts of failure to report child abuse and two counts of negligence. The two-year-old child's death is still under investigation. Charges are expected to be filed soon.
In criminal cases where children are involved, the public's opinion can be solidified very quickly. Without details from the case and despite constitutional guarantees for due process, opinions can be shaped without vital information. But in particularly sensitive cases, observance of the Constitution is particularly vital since emotions can color so many aspects of a case. No matter how challenging and emotionally disturbing a criminal case may be, experienced criminal defense attorneys know that the rights of the accused are paramount. The judicial system depends on such respect for the Constitution.