Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A Philadelphia couple must take a plea bargain from the District Attorney for the horrific crime of sending their daughter to a school outside their native district.
PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - Charged with "theft of services" and conspiracy, Hamlet and Olesia Garcia must take a deal and pay local school taxes of about $10,000 per year for their daughter.
According to prosecutors, the Garcias willingly lied to school officials, telling them their daughter lived with her grandfather so she could attend a school in a different district. Her grandfather signed a notarized document saying she lived with him, and has been charged with false swearing.
On Thursday, prosecutors opted for leniency, asking the court to order repayment of school taxes and enrollment in an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program. In exchange, their records will be expunged of the charges.
The Garcias say the decision to send their daughter to another district has nothing to do with evading school taxes. They were shocked that police and the DA charged with a crime and have no intention of pleading guilty.
Local records indicate that at least 15 other students have been caught attending schools out-of-district in the past year, but the Garcias are the first to be brought before a judge.
In cities around the nation, in areas with poor schools, this kind of criminal behavior becomes common.
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