The Rancho Cordova couple who left a 7-week-old baby in a car while they gambled at Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln were placed on four years felony probation today and sentenced to 60 days in jail for felony child abuse.
However, Thuan Huy Nguyen and Panfila Phu Phan, both 27, were given conditions that could help lessen their sentence.
Placer County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Penney said the two can apply for alternative sentencing such as a work project to fulfill the 60-day jail term.
In addition, if they successfully follow their probation, which includes a mandatory one-year parenting class, the two can have the felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor after 18 months.
‘I know they are truly remorseful,’ Penney said in court. ‘I believe these are good people who made a very bad decision. I hope they have learned from it and that they can be successful parents in the future.’
Nguyen and Phan, who pleaded no contest to the felony charge on June 30, issued an apology that was read in court by their attorney, Anthony Palik, who said both were remorseful and know they had made a bad decision.
‘They take full responsibility for what occurred,’ Palik said. ‘They have no excuses. They hope everyone in the community can understand and forgive them.’
The baby daughter, now six months old, is in the custody of her grandmother. The baby’s parents have visitation rights and could become eligible to get their child back if they continue to comply with conditions of probation and of Child Protection Services in Sacramento County, said prosecutor Joe McInerney of the Placer County District Attorney”s Office.
Nguyen and Phan were arrested April 13 for leaving the baby unattended in their vehicle in a casino parking garage for about two-and-a-half hours. A security guard discovered the baby in the vehicle.