Convicted child abuser indicted for sex assault of 9-year-old child allowed visitations with son, 5

Santos Vigil pushing for overnight visitations with son

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mother has asked a court to prevent her husband from having overnight visitations with their son, 5, after the man's violent criminal history out of state was revealed.

Santos Vigil, 37, asked a civil court judge last month to allow him to have overnight visitations with his son, despite previously being convicted of child abuse in Michigan and currently being charged with continuous sex abuse of a child in Bexar County.

Vigil’s wife, who asked that we call her ‘Sandy,’ said Vigil cannot be trusted with their son at his home, even if a member of Vigil’s family is present during the stays.

"I've risked my children's livelihood with him before and I can't again. I can't," said Sandy last month, after a judge sent her and Vigil's divorce case back to presiding court.

An arrest warrant signed in April 2018 accuses Vigil of repeatedly sexually assaulting his stepdaughter beginning when she was nine years old and continuing until she was 13.

The sexual assaults stopped, according to the warrant, only after the teen was taken to a hospital.

Records show Sandy filed for divorce from Vigil in July 2018, three months after he was arrested.

Vigil was then indicted for continuous sex abuse of a child a month later, records show.

Vigil is free on bond awaiting trial on the first-degree felony charge.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 6.

A Defenders investigation on what can happen when a criminal and civil case play out at the same time in Bexar County. Watch tonight on the NightBeat at 10.

Posted by KSAT 12 & on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Ludington legal woes

A public records search shows that Vigil had at least ten encounters with police in Ludington, a small harbor town on the west side of Michigan, between 2005 and 2007.

Vigil was arrested multiple times and listed as a criminal suspect in a majority of the cases.

Among the incidents:

  • January 2006: Vigil investigated for child abuse after a three-year-old boy in his care was found with possible bite marks and circular bruises. Vigil was never charged.
  • January 2006: Six days later, Vigil was arrested for felonious home invasion after he and another man broke into a home and assaulted several people inside. One victim told police Vigil held a small knife to his throat, threatened to kill him and then cut his forehead after scraping the tip of the blade from the man's throat to his forehead. Records show Vigil was later convicted of home invasion.
  • January 2006: A day after the home invasion, Vigil was arrested for disorderly conduct after officers said he became belligerent, ignored their commands and obstructed them from arresting another person at a bar.
  • July 2006: Vigil arrested for child abuse after the boy from the January 2006 investigation was found with bruises on both sides of his face and his back. A second victim, a woman Vigil was dating, was found with a black eye. Vigil told police he switched from hitting the boy with his fists to using a belt after being released from prison. Records show Vigil later pleaded guilty and was ordered not to be around the woman or child.
  • April 2007: For the second time in four months, Vigil is investigated for possibly violating a protective order by being around the woman and child. The boy told officers Vigil was still hitting him. There is no record that Vigil was arrested for this incident.

“You’re a clown, bro.”

Vigil lashed out at the Defenders last month as he left a hearing in his divorce case.

Santos Vigil speaks with KSAT's Dillon Collier. (KSAT)

"You're making a clown of yourself. This is a (expletive) divorce proceeding. What the (expletive)?" said Vigil.

The Defenders and Vigil then took part in the following exchange as he waited to get on an elevator in the public building:

Collier: Do you continue to beat children?

Vigil: Yeah I am, get out of here.

Collier: You continue to beat your child?

Vigil: Get out of here, man! (Expletive).

Collier: Good luck to you.

Vigil: Screw you. Go to (expletive). Fake (expletive) mother (expletive). (Expletive) both of y'all. Stupid (expletive) mother (expletive). You're a clown, bro. That's what you are. Go report breaking news.

Sandy said her intention is not to keep Vigil from seeing their child. Instead, she would like the supervised visitations at KidShare to continue.

KidShare provides a neutral, supervised setting for a parent to spend time with his or her child.

Vigil was ordered to take part in those visits for 60 days, but now may be eligible for the overnight stays.

"I want the visits to be supervised because I know what Mr. Vigil is capable of," said Sandy.

Vigil’s lengthy criminal history in Bexar County includes convictions of family violence and assault-contact and threats.

Several other charges, including interfering with an emergency telephone call, have been dismissed in exchange for guilty pleas to other charges, court records show.

Back to presiding court

A civil court judge last month ordered the divorce proceeding between Vigil and Sandy back to presiding court, essentially hitting the reset button on the case.

The judge criticized Sandy’s attorney for not raising concerns earlier about the visitation arrangement, which was signed by both sides in August 2018, and stated that Vigil could be eligible for overnight supervised visitations if he complied with KidShare visitation requirements the first 60 days.

The judge pointed out that Vigil complied with the KidShare requirements. However, it does not appear until recently that Vigil made any attempt to have the order changed to overnight visits.

"Sandy" says she cannot risk the safety of another one of her children. (KSAT)

“She’s only asked that if this guy’s going to be allowed to have access to this child that it be safe, that it be supervised,” said Sandy’s attorney, Kenneth Grubbs.

Grubbs said Vigil’s violent history in Michigan was not revealed to them until after his client had signed the visitation order.

Court records show that in May 2018 the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office filed a protective order against Vigil.

Vigil signed the order that July, but denied any allegations of family violence.

Even though the order forbids Vigil from communicating with Sandy in a threatening or harassing manner, he made a Facebook post in early September that appeared to be directed at her.

The post read:

U fu-- up i got u where i want u...payback is a bi---...n u will get whats coming to u in due time...just watch

Vigil was reported to the San Antonio Police Department for harassment on Sept. 11, according to an incident report released to the Defenders.

An amicus attorney has been appointed in the divorce case.

That attorney will serve as a neutral party and advise the court about what is in the best interest of the five-year-old boy.

About the Authors

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy-nominated photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

Recommended Videos