MANTECA — A midwife who was charged in the early 1980s with practicing medicine without a license in Manteca recently was charged in Utah with negligent homicide associated with a newborn's death.
A complaint against Valeria el Halta was made by a group of Manteca-area physicians in 1983. After an investigation, she was charged with two felony counts of practicing medicine without a license. In a plea agreement a month later, el Halta's charges were reduced to misdemeanors.
Thirty years later, el Halta, now 71 and living in Utah, still was practicing midwifery. In June, she was charged with felony unlawful conduct, negligent homicide and reckless endangerment stemming from the death of a baby she delivered last year, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The newspaper reports that the baby died after the still-unlicensed midwife performed a high-risk delivery at the mother's home, during which she administered prescription medication, sutures and a medical device known as a vacuum, which pulls a newborn from a birth canal.