Groton foster mom in ‘Baby Dylan’ case to serve no prison time

May 16, 2019

A Groton foster mother whose child abuse case brought to light major flaws in the state’s child welfare system will serve no prison time.

Crystal Magee, 35, of 181 Mather Ave., who had pleaded no contest to risk of injury to a minor, a felony, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Hillary B. Strackbein to five years in prison, fully suspended, followed by three years of probation. The conditions of her probation include cooperating with any mental health evaluation and treatment, no contact with the victim, and to work, if possible.

A plea agreement worked out by prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman and defense attorney Linda J. Sullivan stipulated that Magee would serve no prison time despite the child, referred to by his pseudonym “Baby Dylan,” nearly dying of starvation while under her care. Ferryman said at a previous court hearing that agencies and individuals with far more resources and abilities than Magee had failed the child before she did.

Dylan, as he was called to protect his identity, was one of four children removed from the home of their parents, Kirsten Fauquet and John Stratzman, in 2015 and placed with relatives under the Department of Children and Families’ policy of placing children in “kinship” homes. A fifth child later was removed, and Fauquet and Stratzman since have had their parental rights terminated.

DCF had placed Dylan with Magee, a cousin of Fauquet, even though Magee was reluctant to foster the child and asked several times that he be removed from her home. Magee did not qualify as a foster parent, having previously been cited by the child welfare agency for neglecting her own son. Both she and her husband had serious medical issues. The husband had a criminal history, and neither of the Magees had a driver’s license or source of income beyond disability payments.