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Woman Pleads Innocent in Adoption Scam

August 27, 1992

VAN NUYS — A woman accused of trying to sell her unborn baby to couples in Los Alamitos and Pennsylvania pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of fraud and violating the state's adoption laws.

Janida Ruth Latorre, 31, of Woodland Hills, who is seven months' pregnant, is to be tried Sept. 16 in Van Nuys Municipal Court on two counts of grand theft and two counts of violating state adoption laws.

Los Angeles City Atty. James K. Hahn said that evidence suggested that Latorre "had no intention of ever honoring her commitment to either couple."

In a statement, Hahn said Latorre initiated negotiations with attorneys representing one couple from Los Alamitos and another from Pennsylvania and accepted a total of more than $2,000 from them to pay her expenses during pregnancy.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charges, Latorre, who is free without bail, could be sentenced to one year in jail and fined up to $1,000.

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