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Judge: No child abuse against fetus

A judge has dismissed a child-abuse charge against a woman who had been accused of harming her daughter before birth by drinking too much alcohol while pregnant.

In an 11-page ruling Thursday, Adams County District Judge Stephen Illingworth said evidence showed that the state's child abuse laws don't apply to a fetus.

He granted a defense motion to drop the felony child-abuse charge against Deborah Arandus, 30.

Arandus had been accused of drinking enough alcohol between December 1991 and April 1992 to abuse her daughter, who was born two months' premature on June 25, 1992.

The baby, named Kayla Rae Arandus when she was born, has been renamed and is living with foster parents who hope to adopt her.

Adams County Attorney Donna Fegler said she was disappointed that the charge was dismissed. The prosecutor said she plans to take the issue to the Nebraska Legislature.