Cheryl Ann Stuart, 25, and 31-year-old Mario Alberto Colin, have been arrested and charged with two felony counts each of child abuse and corporal injury to a child. Police were called to the Santa Ana home where Stuart was renting a room by the landlord, who hadn't seen the children, ages 2 1/2 and 5, outside for some time.
Stuart admitted that she hit her sons but didn't think she was striking them too hard. When officers found the malnourished and dehydrated boys, the younger boy had severe bruising to his forehead and cheek, and his lips were so dry they were cracked and bleeding. The 5-year-old reportedly had swollen arms and was extremely dehydrated, and both boys had bruises and knots on their heads. Stuart also told officers the children each received two cups of water a day. The children were also sometimes tied to their bed and crib by the ankles. She said it was Colin's idea to withhold food and water from the boys, who were tied up so she could sleep without worrying about them getting away. Paramedics took the boys to a hospital to be treated for dehydration, malnutrition and injuries and they are expected to recover.
Stuart and Colin have appeared before the Orange County Superior Court and plead not guilty. The defendants face up to seven years and four months in prison if convicted.
If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse and corporal injury to a child, contact
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
Robert M. Bernstein for a free consultation today.