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Anita Alvarez
Cook County State's Attorney
Communications Department
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-3423


February 13, 2014

Woman Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison
For Abuse Of Young Son

A Chicago mother who was charged with Aggravated Battery to a Child for allowing her 4-year-old son to be severely physically abused by her boyfriend was sentenced to 20 years in prison today, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Amy Pherigo, 32, had been charged and previously convicted of Aggravated Battery to a Child after her young son was found by Chicago Police brutally beaten and lying in his bed unable to speak in her South Side home in 2013.  Also charged in the case was Jose Morales, 26, who was Pherigo’s boyfriend at the time and who had administered multiple physical injuries to the four-year-old child over a period of approximately two months.   

According to prosecutors, Pherigo and her three children lived with Morales and Morales would care for the four-year-old while Pherigo went to work and her other two children went to school.  On April 29, 2013, Chicago Police went to the defendant’s home to investigate an anonymous DCFS hotline call of suspected child abuse.

Police found the child lying in his bed badly beaten and moaning with a blanket covering his body.  The child was taken to the hospital where he was treated for hematomas to the brain, fractured ribs, lacerations to his liver and spleen as well as bruising to his face and body.  The victim, who survived his severe injuries, later told investigators that Morales had beaten him on numerous occasions.  

All three of Pherigo’s children testified at her trial that their mother would put makeup on the victim’s injuries to conceal his injuries and would not allow him to go outside during the day.   According to medical personnel who also testified at the trial, the victim’s injuries were caused from ongoing abuse that spanned from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Pherigo was found guilty by a Cook County Jury under the legal theory of Accountability. Cook County Judge Michael McHale sentenced Pherigo to the 20-year prison term during a hearing Thursday at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago.  Morales is awaiting trial.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Jaclyn Lantz and Emily Stevens as well as the Chicago Police Department for their work on this case.


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