Sexually Abused Infant to Make Full Recovery

Thursday , February 24, 2005




An infant who prosecutors say was sexually assaulted is expected to be released from a hospital in the next few days and make a full recovery, officials said.

The 7-month-old has been removed from a respirator and is eating on her own, County Child Protective Services (search) spokeswoman Estella Olguin said Wednesday.

The baby suffered damage to every vital organ and her tongue had been nearly severed when she was admitted to the hospital Feb. 2, police said. Prosecutors say she was sexually assaulted.

"We've never seen those types of injuries in a baby that was alive," Olguin said.

The child's parents, Ivan Castaneda (search), 22, and Donna Marie Norman (search), 19, have been jailed and charged with injury to a child. Attorneys for both parents deny that their clients were responsible for the injuries.

The parents took her to a hospital Feb. 2 and said she was suffering from congestion. When doctors examined her, they found severe internal and external injuries.

The baby and her 16-month-old sister were expected to be placed in an adoptive home.