A Texas couple have been arrested in an “egregious” child abuse case involving a 1-year-old girl who suffered life-threatening injuries during a brutal sexual assault, authorities said Tuesday.
Deputies and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to South Bexar County on Saturday morning to a call of an injured child involving a dog bite, according to a Facebook post by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
A man at the scene told authorities that the toddler, who is under the age of 2, was attacked by dogs at the residence after wandering out of the home in the middle of the night, the post stated.
But as investigators questioned him and a female relative of the child, they found the story to be inconsistent with the crime scene and evidence, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
It was later determined the child’s injuries — described as serious and life-threatening — were the result of being sexually assaulted, authorities said. Additionally, she had multiple “non-accidental” stab wounds to “intimate” parts of her body.
“At this point the little girl’s injuries are quite severe,” said Bexar County Sheriff Jeff Salazar said at a news conference on Tuesday, according to WCEP-TV in San Antonio. “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 young victim was transported to a local hospital, where she was last reported to be in stable condition.
“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,” Salazar said. “There are certain cases that we carry with us, that make us lose sleep at night. This is one of those cases.”
Authorities have also stated that the child’s wounds were not consistent with dog bites, and that canines picked up at the home by animal control showed no signs of aggressiveness.
Isaac Andrew Cardenas, 23, and Crystal Herrera, 22, were both arrested following the investigation. The pair is described as being in a “romantic relationship,” according to WCEP.
Cardenas has been charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child, a capital felony with a minimum 20-year sentence, according to the post. His bond was set at $300,000.
Herrera was charged with injury to a child, serious bodily injury by omission.