Man sexually assaults girlfriend's 2-yr-old daughter, claims child's horrific injuries were result of a dog attack
25-year-old Isaac Andrew Cardenas was convicted on charges of super aggravated sexual assault after he initially claimed that dogs had violently attacked 21-month-old toddler
A man from San Antonio, Texas, was found guilty on November 8 for sexually assaulting a toddler whose mother said that the child's horrific injuries were a result of a dog attack. 25-year-old Isaac Andrew Cardenas was convicted on charges of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. He and his girlfriend, Crystal Herrera, who is also the mother of the toddler, were indicted in March last year. 24-year-old Herrera is currently out on bail and is awaiting her trial. If convicted, she faces the maximum life sentence in jail with a $10,000 fine.
The San Antonio Express reported that the jurors started deliberations at 10:25 am and reached a verdict a little after 4 pm. Cardenas is set to be sentenced at a later date by Visiting Judge Philip Kazen, who is the one who presided over the trial which began on November 5. If convicted, Cardenas will face a minimum of 25 years in prison with a fine of $10,000.
According to the authorities, Herrera dialed 911 on December 31, 2016, to report to the authorities that dogs had violently attacked her 21-month-old daughter. Herrera told the deputies at the Bexar County Sheriff's Department who arrived on the scene that the toddler had wandered from their home in South Bexar County. The child was taken to the University Hospital for treatment after being discovered with many sharp injuries to her genital and anal areas.
Prosecutor Erica Bryant told the jury in her closing statement that even though a lot of the evidence was circumstantial — no weapon was found on the property — they should base their verdict on the fact that Cardenas had care, custody, and control of the toddler. She also said that the man has been alone in the house with the child when the attack took place and "was in need of having sex". She told the jurors: "He knows (the baby) was in the house, and he was in control of the circumstances."
The shocked jurors were shown disturbing images of how the toddler was mutilated sexually with an unknown sharp object. They did not have to see the images again during the closing arguments.
Denny Callahan, the defense attorney, told the jury during his closing arguments that the case the prosecutors presented "rests on a bias that a mother would not do that to a child, and that leaves him". He then told the panel: "I caution you, don’t do that (show bias). You’re supposed to find the truth."
Prosecutor Leo Gonzalez said in his closing arguments that he was sorry the jury had to see such disturbing images that he said affected everyone who was involved in the case. He told the panel: "They’ve never seen anything like this. These images will never leave their minds."
He then reminded the jurors of a text exchanged between the young couple where Cardenas told Herrera to go to the house and put the baby to sleep. Gonzalez said: "He said, we can mess around all night. He needed to have sex with someone that night. This case comes down to logic and common sense." He then asks the panel to render a guilty verdict. He said: "It’s not a dog."