One hundred dollars. That’s all a 23-year-old Staten Island man allegedly offered on Craiglist to sell his two-month-old baby.
Police claim the man, Paul Marquez, placed an ad on the popular classifieds site in late July, offering to sell a baby for $100.
“I have a 2-month-old baby, she loves to play and have her little fun, but there’s one problem, doctors say she has asthma and if she turns a certain way she can stop breathing. She’s really getting on my nerves and I don’t want her,” read the ad according to WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell. The ad was initially flagged and removed, but the Staten Island man persisted, posting it again.
Marquez, who also has a two-year-old daughter, had the baby with a 19-year-old woman he’d met and dated a few times, reported Cornell. According to the court filing, Marquez claims he posted the ad to upset the woman because she didn’t seem to be interested in him. Authorities allege Marquez passed the mother’s phone number to a person who responded to the ad, and when that person called the mother to inquire about the newborn, the mother informed the police.
Those who know Marquez expressed surprise: “He’s got his own child,” said a friend (via CBS New York). “He’s basically a doting father. He probably did it as a joke.” A neighbor added: “He don’t seem like that type of kid.”
For allegedly trying to sell the baby, Marquez has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, harassment and a social service violation. Marquez appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges; he’s now being held on $1,000 bail at Rikers Island. If convicted, he could serve up to a year in prison.