More charges in starved kids case

August 11, 2009 4:42:06 AM PDT
A couple accused of keeping the woman's three emaciated children in a Dallas hotel bathroom for at least nine months face additional charges, officials said Monday. A judge also increased the bond settings for the mother, Abneris Santiago, and boyfriend Alfred Santiago.

Dallas County Jail records indicate Abneris Santiago now faces three charges of injury to a child. The mother of four had initially faced just one injury to a child charge after police rescued three of her children last month. Her bond increased from $50,000 to $150,000.

Police also added three counts of injury to a child to the case against her boyfriend. Alfred Santiago already faced one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child. His bond increased from $125,000 to $275,000.

Officials said the charges were filed Saturday against the couple, who are not married but have the same last name.

The original charge against Abneris Santiago was in reference to her 11-year-old daughter, said her attorney, James Jamison.

"We were expecting the two additional charges to be filed in respect to the boys," Jamison said.

Alfred Santiago's attorney did not respond to messages left by The Associated Press.

Police and a relative found Abneris Santiago's three children shut inside a hotel bathroom last month. The 11-year-old girl and her 10- and 5-year-old half brothers were emaciated and filthy, requiring hospitalization for 10 days.

The 10-year-old returned to the hospital but was recently released, said Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for Child Protective Services. She declined to discuss his condition.

The doctor who examined the children, who have different fathers, said they appeared to have been starved and that their condition was life-threatening. In an affidavit, he said the lack of food and nutrition had caused their brains to atrophy.

The 11-year-old said she had been sexually assaulted, and the eldest son was covered in bruises from a beating authorities said was delivered by his mother's boyfriend.

A fourth child, a 1-year-old girl who is the daughter of the couple, was healthy and unharmed.

The four children were placed together in foster care. A status hearing on their custody is scheduled for September.

      QUICK HEADLINES | MORE TEXAS | GET NEWS ALERTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC13 SOCIAL NETWORKING
Find us on Facebook® | Follow us on Twitter | More social networking
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MORE FROM ABC13
ABC13 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
ABC13 wireless | Slideshow archive | Help solve crimes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments