Thursday, May 8, 2008

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Hays County Child Abuser Sentenced to Life in Prison; Four Children To Be Adopted By Foster Family

SAN MARCOS – A Hays County jury today sentenced Cesar Mojica Carmona, 24, of Dripping Springs, to the maximum penalty of 14 concurrent life sentences for abusing his three young children. The jury also assessed a $10,000 fine against Mojica Carmona on each of 14 counts of injury to a child for biting, hitting and starving the children. Assistant Attorney General Heather Youree assisted the Hays County District Attorney’s office with the prosecution.

“Today’s life sentence ensures that a convicted child abuser will never harm his innocent children again,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Child abuse is a horrific crime with lasting consequences. Thanks to a coordinated effort by Assistant Attorney General Heather Youree, Hays County District Attorney Sherri Tibbe, Hays County Sheriff Allen Bridges, Detective Jeri Skrocki with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, and Child Protective Services, justice has been served and the healing process can begin for the young victims.”

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Cesar Mojica Carmona

On Oct. 24, 2006, Child Protective Services officials removed Mojica Carmona’s then 4-year-old daughter and 3-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, from the Dripping Springs-area home that Mojica Carmona shared with their mother, Sara Amaya, 23. Hays County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mojica Carmona and Amaya the following day.

During Mojica Carmona’s weeklong trial, doctors testified that his children suffered from more than 140 patterned injuries, including at least 60 bite marks that left permanent scars all over their bodies. Witnesses testified that Mojica Carmona initially tried to blame his oldest child for biting the twins. Mojica Carmona’s beatings also left the children with more than 20 broken bones, including broken legs, broken teeth, and fractured ribs, feet and fingers, most of which went untreated. The children also suffered multiple bruises, burns and lacerations, including those left after Mojica Carmona whipped his toddler with an electrical cord.

Doctors also testified that Mojica Carmona’s violence and malnourishment of the children has left them severely developmentally delayed. According to prosecutors, the twins could not walk or talk when state officials took them into custody. Today, the children remain almost the same height and weight as Mojica Carmona’s 15-month-old son, who was born to Amaya after her arrest.

The four children currently reside together with a foster family who plans to adopt them. A Hays County jury terminated Mojica Carmona’s parental rights in May 2007 when he refused to surrender them. Amaya voluntarily gave up her parental rights. During Mojica Carmona’s trial, the children’s foster mother testified that the children had severe emotional reactions after seeing television news reports with their parents’ image, crying and clinging desperately to her in fear that they would be returned to his custody.

During the sentencing phase of his trial, witnesses testified that Mojica Carmona remains a violent threat to the community. Mojica Carmona is considered a member of a Chicago-based gang well-known for drugs and violence and was previously convicted for assaulting his wife. Hays County Jail personnel testified that two makeshift knives were found in the lighting fixture of Mojica Carmona’s cell, along with gang-related graffiti and home-brewed alcohol.

Additionally, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office found cocaine at Mojica Carmona’s residence at the time of his arrest. Although Mojica Carmona’s attorneys appealed for a lighter sentence on the grounds that the defendant intended to rehabilitate, jail staff testified that Mojica Carmona has not enrolled in the drug or alcohol treatment programs offered to him at the jail during his nearly 18-month incarceration.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Abuse Hotline toll-free at (800) 252-5400 or submit a confidential abuse report online at www.txabusehotline.org.