Children of Honey Tree Preschool daycare operator say they were forced to bite each other, eat butter sticks
Rogelio Archuleta, 26, faces child injury charges
SAN ANTONIO - Rogelio Archuleta, 26, a relative of the operator of the Honey Tree Preschool and Child Development Center is facing child abuse charges stemming from claims by the business operator’s adopted children.
Archuleta was arrested Wednesday on three counts of injury to a child. The alleged victims include a 10-year-old girl and her two brothers, ages 8-and-10.
An arrest affidavit stated that the children were legally adopted by the daycare operator, Arculeta’s relative, in February 2011.
The affidavit also implicates the daycare operator in the case, although it does not appear that she has been arrested.
The affidavit stated that the situation came to light Saturday when the 8-year-old boy was taken to a hospital after he suffered a seizure.
Hospital staff noticed that the child had bruising on his body and appeared to be malnourished, the affidavit stated.
Bexar County sheriff’s investigators later questioned the 10-year-old girl and heard a disturbing story of abuse.
The affidavit stated that she told detectives that she and her brothers were forced to sleep together in the same bathtub at night and had to use a bucket as a toilet.
According to the affidavit, she told them that if she and her brothers behaved, they were given half a sandwich to eat.
If they did not, they were forced to eat whole sticks of butter and drink large amounts of water, the affidavit stated.
Detectives said they noticed the girl was missing part of her left ear, and that she told them she and her brothers were forced to bite off each others body parts if they misbehaved.
The affidavit stated detectives discovered the older boy had a serious infection on his toe which the girl linked to one of the biting episodes.
Investigators also said all three children showed signs of malnourishment. The affidavit stated that the girl identified Archuleta as a “babysitter” and told detectives he had beaten them on several occasions.
She said once, Archuleta punched her so hard that she blacked out, the affidavit stated.
State officials have shut down the daycare in the wake of the claims.
Concerned parents rushed to the business, in the 8300 block of Culebra Road, Wednesday to pick up their children.
Sheriff’s investigators said the case does not appear to involve any children who attended the daycare as clients.
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