10-Year-Old Lancaster Boy Was Extensively Tortured Over Days Before Being Killed, Prosecutors Allege

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Anthony Avalos is seen in a photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Anthony Avalos is seen in a photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Anthony Avalos suffered at least five days of sustained torture before the 10-year-old boy was killed last month, Los Angeles County prosecutors allege in new court papers.

The district attorney’s office said that Anthony’s mother, Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva, poured hot sauce on Anthony’s face and mouth, whipped the boy with a looped cord and belt, held him upside-down and dropped him on his head repeatedly. Prosecutors also alleged that the couple alternately withheld food and force-fed him, slammed him into furniture and the floor, denied access to the bathroom and enlisted other children in the home to inflict pain.

“At one point, Anthony could not walk, was unconscious lying on his bedroom floor for hours, was not provided medical attention and could not eat on his own,” according to the motion by Deputy Dist. Atty. Jonathan Hatami that seeks to establish a long-standing pattern of alleged child abuse. The court released a copy on Tuesday.

Barron and Leiva have both been charged in Anthony’s death. The two appeared in a Lancaster courtroom Monday but their arraignments were postponed until Aug. 3. If convicted as charged, Barron faces a possible maximum sentence of 22 years to life in prison, and Leiva faces 32 years to life.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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