Leticia Bravo sentenced to 15 years in prison in starvation death of 7-year-old Peter Cuacuas


GOSHEN, N.Y. – Punishment was handed out Tuesday in the troubling death of a 7-year-old in Orange County. 

The boy was left in the care of his father’s girlfriend, who locked him in a room and let him starve

She apologized Tuesday, but offered no explanation for the shocking crime. 

CBS2’s Tony Aiello was in court as she was sentenced. 

“This whole situation breaks my heart. If I could bring him back I would in a heartbeat.  But I can’t and I have to live with that for the rest of my life,” Leticia Bravo said in court. 

Bravo, 39, accepted responsibility for the Feb. ’21 death of 7-year-old Peter Cuacuas. She was the boy’s caregiver, with his father Arturo only occasionally visiting Bravo’s Newburgh home, where Peter spent months locked in a room, denied food and medical attention. 

Prosecutors say Bravo deflected inquiries from school about why Peter stopped joining online learning during the pandemic. 

“All he really wanted was a mom. And I never was a mom to him,” Bravo said. 

Bravo has two children of her own. Prosecutor Richard Moran says she cared for them, but not Peter. 

“She had completed courses in child nutrition. And she took 7-year-old Peter Cuacuas into her care and starved him to death… in a room, just yards from a full fridge, eating nothing. Never taken to the doctor, never fed, nothing,” Moran said. 

Had this case gone to trial, Bravo faced a likely 25 years behind bars. Instead, she agreed to a plea deal capping the maximum prison term at 15 years.

Defense attorney Eric Schiller argued for 10 years, citing Bravo’s quick acceptance of guilt and voluntary plea to manslaughter. Judge Craig Brown rejected that. 

“You tried to claim that he didn’t want to eat. I find it implausible that a 7-year-old didn’t want to eat,” Brown said. 

Brown gave Bravo the maximum 15 years. She left court with tears in her eyes, and an unanswered question – why would anyone do that to a child? 

The boy’s father Arturo has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and will be sentenced in a few weeks. 





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