Two women from Northern California who were arrested and charged with child abuse in March 2014 after Monterey County Sheriff’s Deputies discovered three young and severely neglected children in their home, children that were described as skeletal thin, emaciated, bruised and malnourished with one of them regularly chained to a wall, have been sentenced for their crimes against the children, according to a July 20 report from KRON in California. Eraca Dawn Craig, 32, and her domestic partner, Christian Jessica Deanda, 45, both from Salinas, were found guilty in May on their respective charges.
At their sentencing in Monterey County on Friday, Deanda got life behind bars on her guilty counts of torturing the children. Deanda received an additional 13 years and 4 months on her guilty counts of child abuse, false imprisonment and child endangerment. Craig was sentenced to 11 years for her guilty counts of committing child abuse with great bodily injury, false imprisonment and child endangerment, according to Fox 40 News in California.
The three children, two boys, now ages four and seven, and one girl, now 10, were all discovered in the women’s home and were all malnourished; although the main abuse seemed to have been focused on the little girl, according to an earlier report from USA Today, which quoted Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller as saying that the scene inside the home was “one of those cases that sticks with you for some time.” Miller added:
“When you’ve got over 30 years in the business, you’ve seen way too many of these types of things before. But this is, in terms of child abuse and neglect, this is toward the top.”
Reuters reported that police initially discovered the gruesome scene when they went to the women’s home in Salinas on March 14, 2014 after it was reported that the two young boys had both missed medical appointments. Because two of the kids were home-schooled by the couple, they weren’t missed at school. Police described the conditions inside the home as squalid, cluttered and dirty.
Miller also said that the little girl was chained to a wall in an effort to keep her from getting to any food. At the ends of two heavy chains hanging from the wall, investigators found a collar they said was used to be wrapped around the girl’s neck or leg.
Miller said the little girl was extremely emaciated and described her as someone who looked as if she had been held captive in a concentration camp. The youngest of the three children was the only child biologically related to one of the women. The two older children were adopted. The little girl had to be hospitalized for four days. All three children are now in foster homes.
All three of the children testified at Deanda’s and Craig’s trial. The young girl said that she had been beaten with a belt, hosed down with cold water and had her head forced under an open faucet, according to KRON. The boys testified that the two women forced them to hit the girl with a belt and urinate on her.