HOUSTON – A young couple are accused of critically injuring their 6-month-old baby, who police say was sexually assaulted, suffered broken bones from head to toe, and had her tongue nearly severed.
Donna Marie Norman, 19, and her common-law husband, Ivan Castaneda, 21, were jailed without bail on charges of causing injury to a child.
The infant lay in critical condition Monday at a hospital. She was transferred there last week after her parents brought her to another hospital, saying she was suffering from congestion.
Child Protective Services (search) spokeswoman Estella Olguin said the baby had been sexually abused, had two broken legs, a broken arm, a fractured skull, a fractured vertebrae and a broken rib.
"Just about every vital organ in this child's body has damage to it," said Houston police Sgt. Randall Upton. "This child endured probably some of the most incredible amount of pain that one could imagine."
Olguin said that if the little girl survives she could be blind or paralyzed.
Norman told doctors the infant's tongue was severed when she tried to remove a quarter from the baby's mouth that had been placed there by her 15-month-old sister, prosecutor Kari Allen said
"Obviously, that is a bit far-fetched," Allen told a judge at a hearing Monday.
The 6-month-old and her sister, who also had a fractured skull and ribs, were taken into state custody.
Norman was "obviously upset about the situation that has happened to her family and to herself and to her children," her attorney Jerald Graber said. He said he had not yet talked to Norman about the facts of the case.
Castaneda asked for additional time to hire an attorney.