Judges threw out charges against social workers in case of Gabriel Fernandez 7 years ago. The boy’s mother tortured a 8-year-old to death because she was afraid he might grow up gay. A panel of three judges ruled that social workers Stefanie Rodriguez, 34, and Patricia Clement, 69, should not face child abuse charges. Months of torture had been meted out by Fernandez’s mother and boyfriend, both of whom are quite likely to spend the rest of their lives behind the bars. But the case took a twist in 2016 when the district attorney’s office charged the former Department of Children and Family Services employees, which has not been done before in the modern history. In a 2-1 decision filed Monday, the justices ultimately ruled that, because the allegations against the four social workers were based on their “alleged nonfeasance”, prosecutors had to prove that the workers had the ability and duty to control the abusers. The court concluded that the workers “never had the requisite duty to control the abusers and from the official point of view they were not the boy’s caregivers.