HOUSTON – A Houston couple is facing serious charges for failing to seek medical attention for a 9-year-old girl who was being sexually and physically abused by her 13-year-old stepbrother, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The husband, who is 39 years old, and the stepmother, 36, were both charged with felony injury to a child by omission.
We are not revealing the names of the parents to protect the identities of the minor children involved in the case.
The victim was the husband’s child and the boy who was allegedly abusing her was the wife’s son.
According to court documents, a deputy constable was dispatched to Memorial Hermann Hospital on December 16, 2012 after receiving a report about the severely abused girl. Doctors found the little girl suffering from a compact fracture on her left shoulder, and had visible signs of severe bruises in different healing stages on her forehead, face, chest, back, arms and legs. She also had subcutaneous hemorrhages in the right flank and buttocks. Doctors said the parallel bruises on either side of the gluteal cleft were consistent with one or more high-velocity blows across the buttocks. They determined her injuries were highly indicative of inflicted trauma. Not only was the little girl being physically abused, but sexually abused as well, doctors said.
The little girl initially told doctors she received the bruises after falling in the shower, but the injuries were not consistent with such a fall. After more questioning, the child finally told them how she really got hurt and who was doing it to her.
She said her stepbrother caused all of the injuries by striking her face and body with his hands and feet, and hitting her with broken sticks. The little girl said she told her dad and stepmom what the boy was doing to her, but they never believed her and would not stop him.
When questioned by investigators, the girl’s father stuck to his story about the girl falling in the shower, adding that she got the other injuries from falling at school. His wife repeated the claims.
The woman said her son never struck his stepsister. She said the little girl was constantly lying, which made her believe she was lying about the injuries. The stepbrother also denied abusing her.
Doctors noted that the beaten child’s bruises ranged from red, blue, purple, green, yellow and brown in color and were from one day to 14 days old. They said the bruises were highly visible to anyone who saw them and the parents’ failure to protect her resulted in her enduring weeks of abuse.
Formal charges were filed against the parents on August 13, 2013.
Bail was set at $5,000 for the girl’s father. Bail for her stepmother was also set at $5,000.