Parents of 2-year-old charged in torture, stabbing of girl at Santa Ana home

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The parents of a 2-year-old child who was tortured, stabbed and beaten are facing several charges, Orange County authorities reported Tuesday.

Santos Salgado Beltran, 34, and Ana Billalba, 27, were arrested Sunday after Beltran dropped his daughter off at a relative’s house and the relative saw the toddler’s stab wound and other injuries, and took her to the hospital, the Santa Ana Police Department reported.

Santa Ana officers responded to the couple’s home in the 800 block of South Fairview Street around 7 a.m. Sunday and both parents were taken into custody. Three other children at the home were removed and placed with the Department of Social Services.   

“A two-year-old child should not have to suffer the horrors of being beaten and stabbed – especially by the very people who are supposed to do everything they can to keep her safe,” Orange County County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “The initial facts of this case are beyond disturbing and if the ongoing investigation reveals additional crimes have been committed that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, we will file additional charges. Children should be surrounded by love, not violence and it is our responsibility as a society to stand up and protect our children when their own parents have abdicated that responsibility.” 

The girl is expected to survive, Santa Ana police said. 

The child’s father was charged with one felony count of attempted murder and one felony count of torture, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. He was also charged with two felony enhancements of causing great bodily injury to a child under the age of five and one felony enhancement of the personal use of a deadly weapon. 

Beltran faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, plus 17 years and six months in state prison if he is convicted on all counts, prosecutors said. 

The child’s mother was charged with one felony count of torture and one felony enhancement of causing great bodily injury to a child under the age of five. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, plus five years in state prison if convicted on all counts. 

Beltran and Billalba were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

 

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