The Glen Head college student who smothered her newborn daughter and put the infant’s body in a trash bag after a hidden pregnancy wept Monday while speaking of her regret before surrendering to go to prison.
“I’m sorry for what happened and thank you to the court,” Sharon Seudat, 22, told State Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti between loud sobs in a Mineola court.
He then sentenced her to 8 years behind bars and 5 years of post-release supervision under a deal prosecutors approved.
Previously free on $1 million bond, Seudat had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in November after a grand jury’s indictment on offenses that included two counts of murder.
Seudat admitted causing her infant’s death on March 31, 2016 by wrapping the child in sheets and blankets after delivering her at home, then placing a hand over the newborn’s mouth before putting her in a garbage bag.
Police later found the 7-pound, 5-ounce victim’s body in that bag on the back deck of Seudat’s home, according to court records.
Delligatti told Seudat on Monday he had no doubts her remorse was sincere, and after an appeal from the defense, said he’d ask she be put on suicide watch at Nassau’s jail. After another defense request, the judge also gave dozens of people who were at the hearing to support Seudat, many of them also crying, time to leave before court officers handcuffed her and led her away.
“This is certainly a very difficult situation for everyone involved,” Seudat’s attorney, Edward Lieberman, told Delligatti.
Lieberman had said months before his client’s guilty plea that he would present psychiatric evidence at her trial. The Sea Cliff attorney also had said Seudat decided to plead guilty after discussing possible defenses that included dissociative disorder and neonaticide syndrome.
Her arrest came after police and firefighters answered a 911 call at her Walnut Street home, finding her suffering from profuse vaginal bleeding before rushing her to a nearby hospital.
Authorities have said Seudat, who went to Nassau Community College and worked part-time at a car wash, repeatedly denied the existence of a baby at first, but a doctor determined she’d recently given birth. The young woman had hidden her pregnancy from both her family and the child’s father, according to police.
Seudat later admitted to police that she had given birth, but was scared and didn’t want the baby, court records show.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas reacted to the case Monday with a statement about New York’s Safe Haven law, which she said lets a parent leave an infant less than 30 days old at a hospital, firehouse or police station “anonymously and without fear of prosecution.”
She added of Seudat: “Instead of taking advantage of this law, which was designed to support mothers and vulnerable children, this defendant tragically took her newborn’s life.”
Lieberman said after court that the sentence “does not negate the tragedy that occurred or mitigate the life that was taken, but Sharon has admitted her guilt, has shown remorse and is now realizing the consequences.”