ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A woman is accused of tying her three-year-old special-needs stepson up in a closet, using a belt to beat him and "force feeding" him, according to an arrest affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Juana Urbina Salinas, 24, tied up the boy by restraining his arms with two dresses on a pole on July 8. He was tied up for a "long time," according to a witness. The affidavit alleges the boy may have been tied up for around eight to ten hours.
He was tied up until his father came to the house at the 700 block of Kirkland Road. The boy was transported to a Lufkin hospital, where he was treated for bruises to his back, groin, face legs and arms.
The affidavit states a witness saw Salinas beat the boy.
Salinas is charged with injury to a child and is kept in the Angelina County Jail with an I.C.E. hold on her bond.
A beating this extreme is eye-opening for doctors, but they say child abuse is something they see all the time.
"It's more common than we'd like to see," said Patrick Gammill, a registered nurse at Woodland Heights Medical Center. "It's common enough that we're always on the lookout."
Gammill described what a belt beating looks like.
"Elongated bruises on the hips or thighs - definitely wounds from a belt," Gammill said.
Pictures were taken of the 3-year-old's bruises. The bruises on his back, groin, his face, his legs, and arms.
"We take pictures of all wounds when they come in," Gammill said. "Keep them on file for documentation."
Bruising is only a visible sign of child abuse. This alleged victim is unable to speak. Gammill says it could take time to understand the full scope of abuse.
" If the child pulls away obviously they're scared or intimidated with other adults," Gammill said. "Just they're gestures can tell you a lot more than what a sentence can."
Authorities say it was those signs that helped witnesses put Salinas in jail.