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Judge Puts Baby Stealer in Prison Without Bars

October 24, 1987

A judge Friday ordered a woman convicted of stealing an infant to serve her yearlong sentence wearing an electronic device that alerts authorities if she leaves her unlocked halfway house.

Cosette Vivas, 45, who kidnaped a Van Nuys baby Jan 2, will don the electronic monitoring device Monday when she begins serving her sentence at a Los Angeles halfway house operated by Gateway Hospital and Mental Health Center.

Superior Court Judge David Perez, a former Van Nuys judge now hearing cases in Santa Monica, came up with the sentencing alternative, which was approved by the prosecutor and defense attorney.

The arrangement will allow Vivas to leave the halfway house for psychiatric counseling three miles away at Gateway, for court-ordered community service and for employment. If she travels more than 100 feet from a gadget attached to her telephone at any other time, authorities will be alerted.

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