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Mother, boyfriend indicted in 'horrific' child abuse case

Isaac Cardenas, Crystal Herrera charged; 21-month-old hospitalized 7 weeks

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County grand jury has indicted a couple in connection with the abuse of a 21-month-old girl who authorities said suffered "horrific" injuries.

Isaac Andrew Cardenas, 24, was indicted on two counts of super aggravated sexual assault of a child, the Bexar County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Related: Relative "shocked" over arrest of 21-month-old's mother in abuse case

The victim's mother, Crystal Herrera, 22, was indicted on one count of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury by omission.

Herrera called 911 on Dec. 31, claiming her daughter had been attacked by dogs, the DA's office said.

When Bexar County sheriff's deputies and emergency responders arrived at the south Bexar County home, they saw that the girl had suffered severe injuries to her genital and anal areas. She was taken to University Hospital, where she was treated for seven weeks.

Bexar County Sheriff's Office investigators and doctors described the child's injuries as horrific and some of the worst they had ever seen.

When they were questioned by investigators, Cardenas and Herrera claimed that the girl was attacked by dogs. But when authorities compared the girl's injuries to medical evidence, they found that the injuries were consistent with a brutal sexual assault, the DA's office said.

"It is unthinkable to hear allegations of a mom involved in such horrific behavior," District Attorney Nico LaHood said. "This alleged abuse is disgusting and will be treated appropriately. We will not grow weary in showing the community how much we value children."

Super aggravated sexual assault of a child is punishable of 25 years to life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine.

Injury to a child causing serious bodily injury by omission is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine.

Cardenas and Herrera are awaiting trial. 

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