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Pair arrested, charged in violent sexual assault of toddler

Toddler to be released to care of Child Protective Services

SAN ANTONIO – A little girl was hurt so badly that all of her injuries cannot be described in full detail. On Tuesday, KSAT learned that this may not have been this first time it happened.

It's a horrendous case of sexual assault of a child who is not even 2 years old.

The child is in the hospital right now, and a female relative and her boyfriend are in jail charged in connection with the crime.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said it started with an emergency call. The woman making the call, Crystal Herrera, 22, told deputies the toddler had been attacked by dogs, but when deputies talked to Herrera and her boyfriend, Isaac Cardenas, 23, at the scene in south Bexar County, their stories didn't match up.

"As deputies started examining the little girl, they noticed that injuries were not consistent with the story that was being given," Salazar said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Salazar said deputies arrested both Cardenas and Herrera at the residence Saturday.

Cardenas was charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child. His bail has been set a $300,000. The girl’s relative, Herrera, was charged with serious bodily injury to a child by omission.

According to an affidavit, Herrera called for help three hours after she noticed blood while giving the 21-month-old victim a bath. She said she tried to take the child to get help, but her vehicle was stuck in sand.

The affidavit also details that after surgery, the 21-month-old suffered "acute respiratory failure" and will have to endure reconstructive surgery to repair her injuries.

"The child's injuries are quite severe," Salazar said. "There's just no other way. I can't even begin to describe to you the level of depravity that went into this crime."

After checking records, investigators found that there was a separate physical abuse investigation that happened before this incident and that Herrera refused to get help then as well.

The toddler is recovering at University Hospital. Child Protective Services will get custody of her.

Sheriff Salazar press conference child case

Sheriff Salazar is holding a press conference regarding an egregious sexual abuse of a child case. Read more here --> http://ksat.tv/2iFI1jP

Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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