General Crime

Salinas Residents Christian Deanda and Eraca Craig Sentenced On Torture and Child Abuse Charges

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Two women who were convicted of child abuse were sentenced Friday in a Monterey County courtroom. A judge sentenced Salinas resident Christian Deanda to life in prison for committing torture, plus 13 years and 4 months consecutive in state prison for the remaining counts of child abuse, false imprisonment and child endangerment, according to prosecutors. A judge also sentenced Salinas resident Eraca Craig to 11 years in state prison for committing child abuse with great bodily injury, false imprisonment and child endangerment, prosecutors said. A jury found both Deanda and Craig guilty of the crimes on May 15, prosecutors said. The trial for the two women began on April 27. During the trial, the three children who lived in the Salinas home on Russell Road all testified, describing the abuse they each suffered at the hands of the defendants, according to prosecutors. Two doctors testified, saying an 8-year-old girl who lived at the home was severely malnourished when she was brought a hospital. The doctors described the girl as “skin and bones” and as appearing “cachexic,” according to prosecutors.

On March 14, 2014, a deputy was dispatched to the defendant’s home regarding a welfare check on the 8-year-old, prosecutors said. When the girl opened the door, the deputy noticed the girl was very thin and had goose bumps, even though it was a hot and sunny day, according to prosecutors. Paramedics arrived to evaluate the minor and determined the girl was malnourished and need medical assistance, prosecutors said. She was taken to Natividad Medical Center, where doctors evaluated her and concluded she had potentially been abused. The doctors also noted that the girl had bruising marks over he body, including bite marks on her arm, prosecutors said. The girl told investigators the defendants would chain her ankle to a wall and forced her to sleep, chained by the front door, according to prosecutors. Additionally, the girl described an incident where Deanda beat her with a belt, hosed her down with cold water and forced her head under an open faucet, prosecutors said. Two underage boys that also lived in the home gave statements supporting the girl’s allegations, according to prosecutors. The boys said they were forced by the defendants to urinate on the girl and hit her with a belt. Both boys also said they witnessed the defendants chain the girl near the front of the house, prosecutors said. During a search of the home, investigators found photos and videos of the girl with visible injuries, according to prosecutors.

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