“Women are twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted.”
A California woman who tried to flush her newborn son down the toilet in a McDonald’s restroom will not receive any jail time.
Sarah Jane Lockner, a 27-year-old employee of the fast-food chain, was sentenced Friday to four years of supervised probation and one year in county jail. She received credit for time served.
Originally charged with attempted murder, Lockner later pled no contest to reduced charges of felony child endangerment and inflicting great bodily injury. As part of the plea deal, she will be forced to take parenting classes.
According to prosecutors, Lockner committed the crime in 2017 during her shift as a cashier at a McDonald’s in Redwood City near San Francisco. She went to the restroom several times during the shift complaining of stomach pains.
When a concerned coworker went to check on Lockner, she found blood on the restroom floor. Lockner blamed the mess on a heavy period.
But a second co-worker who came to check on Lockner peered over the stall and saw Lockner’s newborn baby face down in the toilet bowl. The co-worker said that Lockner had her hand on the infant’s back and was flushing the toilet.
Lockner’s coworkers rejected her request that they not contact authorities. When first responders arrived, they found the baby with no breath or pulse, but they were able to resuscitate him.
The boy is now reportedly living with his father’s uncle and doing well.
Five years earlier, Lockner gave birth to another child at home, prosecutors said. She reportedly told authorities that she had been unaware of both her pregnancies before giving birth.
In the United States and elsewhere, women often get off with much lighter sentences than men for the same crimes. According to a University of Michigan study,”men receive 63% longer sentences on average than women do” and “women are twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted.”