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UPDATE: Holladay woman arrested for torturing, killing family cat in front of children

A Holladay woman was arrested earlier this month for torturing and killing the family cat in front of her children in September. (Photo: Salt Lake County Jail)
A Holladay woman was arrested earlier this month for torturing and killing the family cat in front of her children in September. (Photo: Salt Lake County Jail)
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(UPDATE 1/27/19 5:39 p.m.) -- An attorney for Ariane Christine Borg reached out to 2News and provided us with this statement.

2News is deciding to keep the published story, which you can read below the italicized statement.

Mr. Geisel:

I am the defense attorney for Ariane Christine Borg, the mentally ill mother about whom you published a story today. I believe this story should not have been published and should be removed. The story will entertain a few, but will likely cause harm to many people, including Ariane and her children.

For many years, the criminal justice system has become the de facto mental institutions of the past. These days, people who used to receive mental health treatment and medication are instead arrested and charged with crimes. This event happened in September of last year and was only recently charged. The case occurred after she was incorrectly diagnosed and her and her previous doctor incorrectly adjusted her medications.

Since that day, Ariane had to go through months of intensive treatment and has made extraordinary efforts to become well and put herself in a position where she may be able to be a mother to her children once again. She started a business as a makeup stylist and has been stable since being released from custody in mid-October. She goes to mental health therapy sessions five times a week and her medications are closely overseen by a psychiatrist.

She has no previous criminal history, but because of this event and this story, she will forever carry a black mark on her name despite all efforts to better herself. Instead of criminally charging and publicly castigating good people with serious mental health issues, our society should be supporting these people and their valiant efforts to carry a cross that would be hard for even the strongest of us to bear.

I believe your story—if it had to be written at all—should have removed all personal identifying information when the subject of the story was so clearly mentally ill. At the very least, it would have been easy for you to find out that she had an attorney and you could have reached out in an attempt to include even just a small amount of information besides what was in the probable cause statement. If we ever expect to deal with the issue of mental health and helping the sufferers remain as contributing members of our society, we have to stop labeling them as "crazy" and writing their names in digital concrete for the world to see at the touch of a button. I suspect her new business will not now succeed when it comes up in Google second to this story.

Please remove your story without delay or remove Ariane's personal information from the article. This is a medical issue for which she is now and will forever be treated. She already has enough obstacles to overcome without having to deal with the humiliation and ostracization the story is likely to produce.

I realize that may not be your personal decision. I don't know media law and I'm unsure if my client has any legal remedies, but from an ethical and public good standpoint, it seems that keeping her information public cannot be justified by any need to inform the pubic. I will be contacting NAMI, the ACLU, and other mental health and legal organizations to see if she has any recourse under the circumstances. I am disappointed that the story included quotes from her children and a reference to her as "going crazy." Perhaps you hear this a lot, but the story was immediately posted to her Facebook page and several people have told her to kill herself. She is on the verge of falling back into dispair and hopelessness and losing all of the progress she has made in the last four months. I also expect her children will be further harmed by kids' comments at school or being treated differently by their friends' parents.

Ultimately, if the company is unwilling to do remove her information, I would like the story to include our perspective and I have included additional facts below. It is very saddening to me that the following response will become part of the public domain, but if the news is unwilling to remove the story, I feel a response is necessary. My direct number is 801-897-####.

Ariane has spent most of her life battling with depression. Her friends and family know her as a loving mother who is kind to all those around her. Last July, her doctor adjusted her medications and her mental health began spiraling downward. In September, the week before she was arrested, the police were called multiple times to assist with her mental health crisis but no meaningful help was provided. Because of the changes in medication and a lack of mental health treatment, Ariane suffered a critical manic episode. She believed that she and her family were being attacked and she injured herself and a beloved family pet while suffering from those delusions.

Luckily, she did not end her own life, but spent several days in the hospital and multiple weeks being treated for her injuries and illness. Doctors were able to correct her diagnosis and treatment, and since being released in mid-October, she has returned to being the good, kind person that she was before.

It has been devastating for Ariane to see that after four months of stability, hard work, and dedication to treatment and self-improvement, she was criminally charged, without notice, was forcibly arrested late at night by a team of U.S. Marshals, was taken to jail without her medications and with very little clothing, and was kept in a holding cell without proper medical care or the ability to contact her doctors or lawyer.

It is disappointing to see that after all we have learned about mental illness, our system still re-victimizes those who are struggling and increases the risk that they will suffer further setbacks. We hope that those who see this story will urge law enforcement, prosecutors, the media, and the Legislature to improve the way we treat mental illness so we can help those who are sick before they reach a point of crisis and tragedy.

Steve Burton, Defense Attorney for Ariane Borg

(KUTV) -- A Holladay woman was arrested earlier this month for torturing and killing the family cat in front of her children in September.

Ariane Christine Borg, 38, was arrested with three counts of child abuse and one count of torturing a companion animal.

According to a probable cause statement, Unified Police officers were called to a residence in Holladay where Borg's son and daughter were found crying in September 2018. The children told a responding officer that Borg beat the family cat "over and over again" and snapped its neck in front of them.

The responding officer arranged the children to be transported away from the home when she walked throughout the home to further investigate. When the officer arrived in the yard, she found a dead cat and Borg covered in blood. The officer also found multiple broken items and blood throughout the home.

The probable cause statement also wrote that Borg had what were later determined to be self-inflicted stab wounds on her abdomen and wrists.

Later in November 2018, a detective from Unified Police spoke with Borg's daughter at the Children's Justice Center, where she told the detective that her mother "goes crazy" nearly every night, and her mother was "going insane" during the September incident.

According to the probable cause statement, Borg's daughter told the detective that she heard the cat meowing and saw her mother hold the cat by its legs, pounding it repeatedly on a table. The daughter tried to save the cat, but Borg bit her daughter on the arm - bruising her arm - before snapping the cat's neck.

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The probable cause statement also wrote that a therapist has been working with the daughter to help her cope with acute stress disorder, which she was diagnosed with after experiencing Borg's incident in September and other events in the past.

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