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Mom Held Liable for Teen Son's Graffiti

April 17, 2003|Michael Krikorian | Times Staff Writer

A teenager's mother has been convicted in connection with the graffiti vandalism committed by her son and ordered to pay restitution, officials said Wednesday.

Yolanda Jeronimo, 43, was found guilty Friday of one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for failing to curtail her son's frequent tagging in the Van Nuys area.

Jeronimo, whose son defaced Grant High School with graffiti, was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Leland Harris to three years' probation and 100 hours of graffiti removal. She must pay $150 in restitution to the Los Angeles Unified School District and attend 52 sessions of parenting classes.

"We continue to hear from the community [and] from the schools that it's the parents' fault," City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said. "So our approach is to focus on the parent."

Encouraged by the conviction, Delgadillo said there will be more such cases in the future.

"There is no excuse for the destructive behavior of vandalism and graffiti," Delgadillo said. "This is an example of how parents will be held responsible ... if their children commit an illegal act."

The tagger, whose name was withheld due to his age, was first seen by authorities tagging at Grant High on Feb. 14, 2002, said Deputy City Atty. Debra Siedorf.

On Dec. 3, LAPD officers served a search warrant on the Jeronimo residence and found graffiti throughout the home.

The teenager, a student at Grant High, was convicted of felony vandalism in December. His mother could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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