General Crime

* Satu Diaz Pleads Guilty to Three Counts of Child Abuse in Martinez

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One of two San Pablo women accused of abusing three children in their care pleaded guilty during a preliminary hearing in Martinez today,
Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Satish Jallepalli said.  Satu Diaz, 34, pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse and
admitted to an allegation that she inflicted great bodily injury on the children, Jallepalli said. She will be sentenced in September to four years in prison. The preliminary hearing continued this afternoon for Diaz’s mother, 56-year-old Faasese Fiu, the children’s grandmother, who has also been accused of child abuse. The children, a 14-year-old girl and her 11-year-old twin brothers, are originally from Samoa but were sent to live with their grandmother in the 2500 block of 22nd Street in San Pablo in March 2007 after their parents divorced, according to San Pablo police Lt. Kenneth Bays. Their mother had allegedly fled to a different island and their father sent the children to San Pablo, Bays said.  During testimony earlier in the hearing, the three children described the abuse they allegedly endured for two years at the hands of Fiu and Diaz. They said they had not been fed regularly and had been forced to stand in the sun in the backyard all day, every day. They said they were beaten with sticks, spoons and a gray rubber bar like the ones used to separate items at Wal-Mart checkout counters. One of the boys said that on one occasion he was hit on the head so hard that he blacked out. Both boys claimed that they were frequently hit
hard enough that their heads would bleed. The girl said that she and her brothers were forced to bathe with a hose in the backyard and were not allowed to use the bathroom without permission. They were allegedly beaten if they asked to use the bathroom and were beaten if they were caught using it without permission.  All three children alleged that Fiu had forced the two boys to drink their own urine and to rub feces on their faces. The children were never enrolled in school in California and never taken to a doctor, even when one of the boy’s feet “looked really bad” for several weeks, the girl said. The three siblings escaped from the backyard March 26 and a woman who worked at a nearby nightclub saw them and called police to report suspected abuse.  Police took the children to Doctors Medical Center, where they were examined and their injuries were photographed. Bays said the children had old and new bruises and scars covering their entire bodies, and that their ankles were swollen from prolonged standing. Fiu has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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