CALDWELL - A Canyon County woman who beat her children and shaved their heads as punishment for eating a tub of ice cream has been sentenced to serve 30 days in county jail, officials said.
Priscilla Zapata, 26, of Nampa is required to serve the 30 days within a year, Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker said Tuesday. Zapata will also serve four years of felony probation for felony injury to a child.
According to court documents, Zapata told relatives that she "lost it" after discovering her children - two boys and two girls ranging in age from 3 to 9 - had eaten the ice cream on the evening of July 18, 2017
Deputies say Zapata beat all four of her children with a belt, causing extensive bruising.
According to court documents, one of the girls told investigators that her mother had hit her “everywhere,” then thrown her outside. The girl also told relatives that Zapata had bitten her, shoved her face into the ice cream and pushed her into a wall.
The suspect's other daughter also said Zapata had grabbed her by the throat and held her against the wall, lifting her up onto her toes and leaving her struggling to breathe.
The girl told deputies she “felt like [she] was going to die,” and “like [she] was already dead,” and thought that her mother was intentionally trying to kill her, according to court documents.
Zapata is also accused of shaving both girls' heads as punishment. One of the children said she did not say anything as her head was being shaved, because she was afraid her mother would cut her.
The children are currently being cared for by family members under the supervision of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
During sentencing, Judge George A. Southworth stated: “You have engaged yourself in appropriate treatment, your CPA case, and are involved in counseling, so it appears you are engaging in a process on how to better handle your children. You’ve caused a lot of damage to your children and it’s going to take you a long time, if ever, before you can rebuild that trust.”
“It’s fairly obvious that Ms. Zapata has some severe anger issues that she needs to address, and to her credit, she has been working on it through counseling and parenting classes,” said Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. “I’m hopeful that she can take advantage the resources available to her while on probation and make the appropriate changes in her life to become a better parent.”