Sunday, January 8, 2017

Texas: Crystal Herrera and her boyfriend Isaac Cardenas lied to police and said little girl, who had been sexually assaulted, had been attacked by dogs

TEXAS -- “I’ve got seasoned detectives and emergency room personnel that have all agreed that this is one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen, if not the worst case they’ve ever seen,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a young child.

Sheriff Salazar held a news conference Tuesday afternoon concerning the case.

Sheriff Salazar said deputies and emergency medical personnel were sent to a home on the Far South Side around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 after receiving a report that a child had been bitten by a dog.

When they arrived, Crystal Herrera told police that the little girl, who is under the age of 2, had wandered out of the home sometime during the night and been attacked by dogs.

Investigators questioned Herrera, who has custody of the little girl, as well as her boyfriend Isaac Cardenas and discovered what they were being told was not consistent with the crime scene and the evidence.

According to an affidavit, Herrera called for help three hours after she noticed blood while giving the 21-month-old victim a bath. She said she tried to take the child to get help, but her vehicle was stuck in sand.

After checking records, investigators found that there was a separate physical abuse investigation that happened before this incident and that Herrera refused to get help then as well.

It was determined that the girl had suffered "extremely serious and life-threatening wounds consistent with a brutal sexual assault and multiple stab wounds."

“The child did suffer stab wounds to her upper body, but additionally to her private areas of her body,” explained Sheriff Salazar.

The child was immediately taken to University Hospital and is now in stable condition. Medical staff told Bexar County Sheriff's Office investigators the injuries were not consistent with dog bites, and it was determined the child was sexually assaulted and had sustained numerous “non-accidental” stab wounds to the intimate areas of her body.

Animal Care Services picked up the dogs and said the animals showed no signs of aggression, the sheriff's office said.

"At this point the little girl’s injuries are quite severe,” said Sheriff Salazar. “There’s just no other way – I can’t even begin to describe to you the level of depravity that went into this crime.”

The affidavit also details that after surgery, the 21-month-old suffered "acute respiratory failure" and will have to endure reconstructive surgery to repair her injuries.

One of the little girl's family members said the doctors initially told family members the little girl only had a 10 percent chance of living because her injuries were so severe.

Based on the investigation, the following individuals have been arrested:

Isaac Andrew Cardenas, 23, charged with Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (capital felony - minimum 20 year sentence). His bond is set at $300,000.

Also arrested was Crystal Herrera, 22, charged with Injury to a Child Serious Bodily Injury - by Omission.

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