Salinas Women Convicted Of Starving, Beating, Torturing 3 Children Will Spend The Rest Of Their Lives In Prison
SALINAS (CBS/AP/CBSSF) -- Two Northern California women convicted of torturing and abusing their three children have been sentenced to life and 11 years in prison.
Christian DeAnda received the maximum sentence of life in prison for committing torture, plus 13 years for child abuse. Her partner, Eraca Craig was sentenced to 11 years in state prison for child abuse.
Prosecutors say the women's children, two boys, now ages 4 and 7, and a 10-year-old girl were found last year living in squalor with little food.
Investigators found indications that the girl had been chained to a wall from time to time, beaten and denied food.
All three children were under legal guardianship of the defendants. DeAnda was a businesswoman and counselor. Craig was a former prison guard and the biological mother of the youngest boy. The girl and the other boy were abandoned by their troubled biological mother in Mexico.
The sordid details of their treatment emerged during the trial. Prosecutors presented a warrant, which refers to the girl as "Jane Doe."
"Jane Doe stated she was chained up to a wall with a collar around her neck. Jane Doe reported that her hair was shaved off and videotaped. Jane Doe reported that Christian kept a journal as well. Jane Doe was hit with a black belt and was forced to be chained up all day, every day," the warrant states.
Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller said the girl looked like someone from a World War II concentration camp when she was rescued.
He told the San Jose Mercury, "It was a particularly heinous case," Miller said, adding that it appeared the women were preparing to leave the area before they were discovered.
"It seems that the little girl was the major target of this abuse," he said.
Miller said when children are rescued from terrifying conditions, they're not usually "jumping up and down in joy. They may have forgotten what joy is like."
The women were domestic partners and reportedly planning to get married.
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