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Author Topic: 3 Dallas Children Rescued from Starvation  (Read 3808 times)
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Toler
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« on: July 19, 2009, 11:43:00 PM »

Sunday, July 19, 2009
Three Dallas Children Rescued from Starvation in a Locked Bathroom - Video 7/19/09

Here is a video report about a shocking story out of Dallas, where three children have been rescued from a home, where police say they were being starved in a locked bathroom.

The children were finally rescued when the mother called police saying she was afraid of her husband, the children's step-father. But when police saw the children, they were taken to a children's advocacy center and examined by a doctor, who said they were "severely emaciated," and that their nutritional status was "life threatening." They have since been treated at a hospital and are now in foster care. Both parents have been arrested, with police saying the mother is being held because she knew of the abuse for a long time and did nothing.

Exit Question: How often does senseless abuse of children go on like this in America?

http://www.freedomslighthouse.com/2009/07/three-dallas-children-rescued-from.html
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 02:25:38 PM »

http://www.kbtx.com/state/headlines/51492967.html
Dallas Man Denies Starving Three Children Who Were Locked In Bathroom     
Reporter: Associated Press
The man accused of keeping three emaciated children in a hotel bathroom for about a year and sexually assaulting one of them said in an interview from jail that he is a victim, adding that the children had access to "mountains of food."

Alfred Santiago, 37, said Wednesday that it was his girlfriend who kept her children locked up in the bathroom, and that he wanted them kept away from the 1-year-old daughter the couple had together.

Police found the children earlier this month and said they were "horribly emaciated, underweight and malnourished."

But Santiago told The Dallas Morning News that the children were to blame for their poor health because of their refusal to eat "mountains of rice, of chicken, of pork chops, of hot dogs."

Santiago is jailed on charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 06:50:57 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_STARVED_CHILDREN?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US
Jul 29, 4:29 PM EDT

Court records: Children were in `living nightmare'

By JEFF CARLTON
Associated Press Writer

 DALLAS (AP) -- The hotel bathroom was a de facto prison cell - a cramped, foul space where three young children were starved, beaten and sexually assaulted for at least nine months.

The toilet didn't work. The bathtub was a place to sleep. Meals were rare, and the two oldest children - once each a healthy 90 pounds - withered to less than 60 pounds.

Each day for reasons unknown, their mother's boyfriend would force the 10-year-old boy to stand in the corner with his arms raised above his head; his 5-year-old half brother had to kneel in another corner, arms also raised.

The disturbing details emerged in court records that tell the horrific story of the torture borne by the two boys and their 11-year-old half sister, all of whom have different fathers. The children were found July 2 after their mother called a relative to say she feared for her own life and those of her children.

The 10-year-old, his face and limbs covered in bruises, told a social worker that the experience was "my living nightmare." The 11-year-old said she repeatedly was sexually assaulted. The 5-year-old was so thin that bones were visible in his limbs.

The children were rescued by their uncle and police, their ribs protruding and their bellies distended. After throwing up food given to them by stunned officials, the children expressed gratitude at being found.

"God was watching over us and listening to our prayers," the 11-year-old said.

The 10-year-old agreed. "My prayers have been answered," he said. "I'm safe, that's all I need."

The mother's boyfriend, Alfred Santiago, 37, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse. He remained jailed Wednesday, unable to make his $125,000 bail. No court appearance has been set.

The mother, Abneris Santiago, 30, is charged with injury to a child. She remained jailed on $50,000 bail and is expected to appear in court next week, when a judge will decide whether the case will go to a grand jury.

"She realizes she is going to face some consequences," said her attorney, James Jamison. "And that's OK with her. She wants her children to be safe, and she realizes she is not able to provide them with a safe home right now."

Alfred Santiago's attorney did not return a phone call Wednesday from The Associated Press. The two suspects have declined to be interviewed.

The three children and their healthy 1-year-old half sister - the daughter of both Santiagos - were placed in foster care. They will remain with their foster family at least through September, when a status hearing is scheduled.

In interviews with Child Protective Services officials, the children described their imprisonment in heartbreaking detail. It began roughly three years ago, when they moved from Fort Myers, Fla., to Texas, ostensibly to take care of Alfred Santiago's ailing mother. Abneris Santiago's relatives now doubt that story.

Until the move, Alfred Santiago was a "nice, nice gentle man," the 10-year-old said.

That seemed to change in Texas, where the blended family took residence in a Super 8 motel. The children were permitted to go outside but forbidden to play with other kids. Alfred Santiago began accusing them of being rapists. Later, after his daughter was born, he accused his girlfriend's children of molesting the infant.

In an interview with CPS officials, Abneris Santiago admitted the allegations left her "doubting" her children.

What freedoms the children had were taken away when the family moved into a Budget Suites of America, an extended-stay hotel located along a busy freeway. Police records indicate they had lived there since at least August 2007.

The children never attended school, and the 11-year-old said she had not been in a classroom since she was in second grade.

"She never put the kids on the phone," said Ruth Leon, Abneris's mother. "They told me they were playing or that they were with friends or doing homework or doing something."

Inside the bathroom, the children said, they would go days without eating. Their mother said she gave them breakfast and dinner, though she was aware her boyfriend would not feed them while she was at work. She sneaked them food when she could, Abneris Santiago said, but "risked a beating" every time.

The children hid scraps of food in shampoo bottles, their pockets and "anywhere else they could hide it, not knowing when they might get to eat again," a CPS report said. Such behavior continued even after their rescue. The children were hospitalized for 10 days, "requiring constant supervision due to food hoarding," the report said.

The examining doctor said the children were of average height but in the bottom fifth percentile for weight. Their cheeks and eyes were hollow and sunken, their skin was flaky and they emitted a repugnant odor.

The report described Abneris Santiago as medically obese. During an interview with CPS officials, she repeatedly said she was hungry but that she was so upset she had been unable to eat for two days.

Abneris Santiago might not have done much to help her children, but her oldest son came to her defense. She told CPS that three weeks earlier, her boyfriend beat her and her 10-year-old tried to stop him. Alfred Santiago punched the boy twice in the face, she said.

Abneris Santiago denied knowing of any sexual abuse. She knew she had to get out of the situation, she told CPS officials, "before something really bad happened."
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2009, 09:22:58 PM »

didn't this room ever get cleaned by the hotel staff? what did they do with the children when that happened? must not have let the maid service in, ever...
this is despicable that any child is treated in this manner.....mother is as much of an abuser as he is..imo.
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009, 10:15:17 PM »

I agree cookie.

Medically obese. She didn't miss a meal but didn't have a problem with her kids missing meals.

She believed her children were molesting her baby because "he said so".

They are both monsters and should never see the light of day again, imo.
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009, 10:19:22 PM »

Bless these children though. They are tough cookies and it sounds like faith played a big part in keeping them going.

I will say a prayer that they get all the help they need, that they are able to see this through the other side and that they live full, productive and happy lives from here on out.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 10:14:41 PM »

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/breaking/6560363.html
Dallas starvation case to proceed to grand jury
Aug. 4, 2009, 2:14PM
DALLAS — The case of a mother accused of keeping her three children starving in a hotel bathroom for at least nine months will proceed to a grand jury, a judge ruled today.

Judge Terrie McVea ruled during an examining trial that there was probable cause for a grand jury to consider indicting Abneris Santiago. A Dallas grand jury will likely get the case this month.

Santiago, 30, is charged with one count of injury to a child, and prosecutors have said they would likely add two more counts this week.

Police and a relative found 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 doctor who examined them said the children appeared to have been starved and that their condition was life-threatening.

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.

James Jamison, Santiago's attorney, said he expected the ruling and that he requested the optional examining trial to get a preview of the state's case.

“It's relatively easy to show probable cause,” Jamison said.

The mother's boyfriend, 37-year-old Alfred Santiago, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse. Three additional charges of injury to a child likely will be filed against him, Assistant District Attorney Eren Price said.

The Santiagos, who remain in the Dallas County Jail, are not married but have the same last name. The three older children have different fathers. The youngest child is the daughter of both Santiagos.

Alfred Santiago's attorney was out of town today and did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.

Abneris Santiago, wearing thick glasses and a gray-and-green-striped jail uniform, declined to make a statement during the court hearing. She has not spoken publicly about the case, turning down repeated requests for interviews from jail.

During the hearing, Santiago appeared alternately sad and defiant. She lowered her head and blinked repeatedly as Dallas police detective Lisette Rivera described the condition of her children when they were found July 2. Santiago shook her head in disagreement when Rivera said the 11-year-old girl had told her mother that she had been sexually abused for three years.

“She did not realize the child was being sexually assaulted,” Jamison said of his client. “She feels victimized. She feels abused. She wishes she could have mustered the strength to do the right thing sooner.”

Rivera, the only witness questioned during the hearing, said the family lived in the Budget Suites of America hotel for nearly a year. The suite had a bed, a couch and a crib. The three older children spent day and night inside the bathroom, she said, and never attended school.

“Nobody knew (they were there),” Rivera said. “They never went out.”

Rivera also said the children were so starved that their brains had atrophied.
The siblings and their 1-year-old half sister, who was found healthy, later were placed together in foster care.
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 03:08:45 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_STARVED_CHILDREN?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US
Aug 10, 6:02 PM EDT

More charges in Texas starvation case

By JEFF CARLTON
Associated Press Writer

DALLAS (AP) -- A couple accused of keeping three emaciated children in a Dallas hotel bathroom for at least nine months face additional charges.

Dallas County Jail records indicate the children's mother, Abneris Santiago, now faces three charges of injury to a child. She had faced just one charge.

Police also added three counts of injury to a child to the case against her boyfriend, Alfred Santiago. He already faced one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The couple are not married but have the same last name.

Abneris Santiago's attorney said Monday that he had been expecting the additional charges.

Alfred Santiago's attorney did not respond to messages left by The Associated
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2009, 05:38:28 PM »

Children found in Dallas hotel bathroom improving
Associated Press
Sept. 4, 2009, 12:48PM
DALLAS — Court officials agreed that the maternal grandmother of the children found starving inside a hotel bathroom in Dallas is the best person to take custody.

At a hearing today in juvenile district court, Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon ordered Child Protective Services to conduct a home study on Ruth Leon, the children's grandmother.

Leon, who lives in Tampa, Fla., declined comment after the hearing.

The four children, three of whom were found filthy and emaciated in July, remain together in foster care. The fourth child was found healthy in a crib.

A court-appointed attorney for the children said they have started school, gained weight and are receiving counseling.

Their mother and her boyfriend face felony abuse charges and remain in the Dallas County Jail.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6602849.html
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2009, 06:10:05 PM »

Thank you for the update Nut.  I'm happy to see the children gaining weight and are in school.   I sincerely hope they are never back with their mother and/or her boyfriend ever again.  These little ones have suffered so much.     And I hope if the maternal grandmother takes custody,  there will be extremely close supervision. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2010, 06:33:15 PM »

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7127254.html
Jury finds Texas man guilty of starving 3 children
July 27, 2010


FILE -This July 20, 2009 file photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office shows Alfred Santiago, accused of locking his girlfriend's children in a hotel bathroom and starving them for up to nine months. Santiago's trial began in Dallas Wednesday July 21, 2010. He is charged with injury to a child and continuous sexual abuse.(AP Photo/Dallas County Sheriff's Office, File)

 DALLAS — A Texas man accused of starving three children and confining them to a squalid hotel bathroom for as long as nine months was convicted Tuesday of injury to a child and sexual assault.

Alfred Santiago, 38, who spent most of the trial scratching notes onto a yellow legal pad, dropped his head and closed his eyes when the judge read the Dallas jury's verdict. He faces up to life in prison.

The trial moved immediately into a sentencing phase.

The children were gaunt and filthy when they were found by police in July 2009 in a hotel alongside a busy Dallas highway. A doctor who treated them described the children as having sunken cheeks and flaky skin and said they emitted a repugnant odor. Photographs of the children, with their ribs and spines visible through their skin, hung on a courtroom wall during much of the trial.

Prosecutors have said Santiago had sexually assaulted one of the children, a girl who is now 12.

Prosecutor Eren Price told jurors in her closing argument that the case was about isolation, hopelessness, suffering, torture and starvation.

"Mostly the evidence in this case has been about evil," Price said. "These kids thought they were going to die in that bathroom."

Another prosecutor, Carmen White, told the jury how the siblings would pray for God to rescue them.   

"He starved those children," White said. "We don't let people treat animals that way."

Testifying in his own defense a day earlier, Santiago repeatedly denied sexually assaulting the girl, beating her brothers or denying the children food. He said he made them breakfast and lunch every day and that it wasn't his fault they refused to eat.

Santiago also said he could not explain why he had told investigators that he had awoken from naps to find himself having sex with the girl. He could not recall telling police that, he said.

His defense attorney, Richard Carrizales, acknowledged in his closing argument that jurors "couldn't just ignore the photos" of the starving children. Carrizales blamed the children's mother, Abneris Santiago, for denying the children food and suggested the youngsters' testimony about beatings and rapes was unreliable.

Each of the three children have different fathers. Alfred and Abneris have a daughter together who was 1 at the time of their arrest. She was healthy and unharmed.

Abneris Santiago's trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday. The former couple share a last name but were not married.

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