A 19-year-old Midland mother, indicted last year in one of the most violent child abuse cases Midland County investigators said they had ever seen, pleaded guilty Friday for her involvement and was sentenced to the maximum prison term.
Iris Liliana Rodriguez was sentenced to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by Judge John Hyde for a third-degree felony of injury to a child. She was arrested by Midland County Sheriff's investigators on May 17, 2010, and has remained jailed in Midland County on a $1 million bond.
According to arrest affidavits, she brought her 19-month-old son to a Midland hospital around noon on May 17. Investigators reported the baby's face was badly beaten, there was swelling and bruising to both eyes and the boy was unable to open them. He was treated for abrasions to his face and mouth and bites to his shoulders, breasts and right foot.
His left arm had been broken a week earlier, and doctors also found bruising to his genitals and stomach area and that his left leg had been burned.
Authorities arrested Rodriguez at the hospital on a charge of attempted capital murder of a person under 6-years-old. That charge was later dropped when she was indicted June 9 by a Midland County grand jury on four counts of injury to a child.
As the investigation continued, authorities said they found that Rodriguez's other child, a 2-year-old girl, had been sexually abused within the past 24 hours and she also was treated at the hospital for several bruises on her body.
Rodriguez told the investigators in an interview that she is scared of her live-in boyfriend, Joseph Mark Charles, and that he had beaten her in the past. She told authorities that he would take the children into their bedroom and he would not let her in with them, but she could hear them crying, the Reporter-Telegram previously reported.
Charles, also 19, was arrested on May 18 and then indicted on one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of intent to cause serious bodily or mental injury to a child.
He also remains in jail on a $1 million bond.