A 51-year-old Baton Rouge woman whose emaciated special-needs teenage son was found living in squalor in 2015 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to child cruelty charges and giving up future contact with the boy.
Rose Holland signed a lifetime protective order Monday that prohibits her from having any contact with him.
Holland's son was 15 and weighed just 47 pounds when police found him in July 2015 stuck to a roach-infected cot by his own feces and urine in his North 46th Street home.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Tuesday the boy is now in an assisted-living facility and doing well.
"This was a very tragic situation. The victim was a defenseless special-needs teenager who was unable to care for himself," Moore said. "Rose Holland was addicted to drugs and grossly neglected her duties as a mother and caretaker. The victim was fortunate to be alive in the condition he was found in.
"We do not want Rose Holland to ever be able to put him in this situation again."
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services representatives had been to the boy's house a number of times but were concerned only with whether the child's family had access to food and running water, a relative said previously.
DCFS announced policy changes after the boy's discovery. One new policy states that any child who is nonverbal and has special needs, such as Holland's son, will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team, including medical professionals, in the course of any investigation.
A police officer discovered the emaciated boy while responding to a loud-music complaint at Holland's home. The officer saw Holland and another woman, Cathy Fort, sitting in a vehicle and noticed a glass pipe and other evidence of crack cocaine use in the car. He arrested both women.
The officer checked inside the house and found the boy stuck to a cot and apparently having a seizure. A police report described the boy as being "very small and extremely malnourished" and suggested he had been lying there "for days at a time."
Holland was originally charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, which carries up to 40 years in prison, and possession of cocaine. Prosecutors offered her a deal in September that if she pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to a juvenile in return for consecutive 10-year prison terms, they would dismiss the drug charge.
Holland accepted the deal Monday, the day she was set for trial in state District Judge Tony Marabella's courtroom.
Joshua Newville, one of Holland's court-appointed attorneys, declined comment Tuesday.
Fort, 57, is charged with cocaine possession in the incident. Her next court date is next month.