A Utah mother is facing charges of child abandonment and child abuse after reportedly leaving her 8-year-old son in front of a hospital with a note saying she didn’t want him anymore.
Kathy Sherrer, 36, dropped her 8-year-old boy off at Jordan Valley Medical Center on Feb. 21.
“This kid is rude and ungovernable!" Sherrer's note read. "I do not want him in my house at all!”
Sherrer had left child with nothing but the clothes on his back. She said she believed she was simply taking advantage of Utah’s Safe Haven law.
"I thought that it was OK that we could drop them off and it was a Safe Haven place," Sherrer told KSL News. "I wasn't sure about the Safe Haven laws or what it meant. … I really did not know any other way to go about it."
Sherrer was charged on March 9 with child abandonment and child abuse. The boy had a bruise on his arm, which allegedly came from the mother hitting him with a spoon, according to court documents.
Still, Sherrer said she left the child because she was “overwhelmed.” She has four special needs children ages 4, 8, 12 and 13.
"(The idea) kind of behind that was to get him the help he needed from (the Division of Child and Family Services) and to go from there," she said.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said there’s a proper way of doing this.
"You don't get to arbitrarily drop children off at certain institutions," Gill said. "You reach out to that organization, that organization helps process your child, there's an understanding.”
“Everybody understands what everyone's role is,” Gill added. “Everyone knows what they're supposed to do. But you don't simply say, 'I've had enough and I'm going to drop off this child and no one knows who I am.'"
Despite the child abuse charges, Sherrer denies hitting her son. She told Fox 13 Now that she had been struggling to raise her children since she separated from her husband and couldn’t handle the 8-year-old by herself.
"He was calling me names, he was calling me the B word, he was pulling his pants down in public," Sherrer added.
The boy has been placed in foster care, and Sherrer has gotten back together with her husband. She reportedly wants her son back, and the boy also wants to return home.
However, If Sherrer is convicted, she could be facing up to six years in prison.