May 10, 2011
MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that an Oceanside woman has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after shaking her two-year-old adopted son to death in July 2009.
Lois Saitta, 51, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree, the top count against her, in exchange for a promised sentence of one year in jail and five years probation from Nassau County Judge David Sullivan. Saitta must serve the entirety of her prison term.
Rice said that at approximately 10 a.m. on July 20, 2009, Saitta was feeding her 27-month-old son at her Soper Street home when she placed a 911 call stating that the baby had fallen and was not responsive. A medical examination revealed injuries indicative of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The boy’s brain swelled so much that a piece of his skull had to be removed. The child never regained consciousness and died August 12, 2009. Saitta and her husband had adopted the boy six months earlier from Guatemala.
The medical examiner concluded that the manner of death was Shaken Baby Syndrome and ruled the death a homicide. Saitta was arrested on April 14, 2010.
“Ms. Saitta had a duty to care for and protect her adopted son, but instead she violently shook her child to death,” Rice said. “Shaken Baby Syndrome is a leading cause of child abuse deaths, and its victims are tiny and defenseless.”
Assistant District Attorney Silvia Finkelstein of the Special Victims Bureau is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Saitta is represented by Kevin Keating., Esq.