MOTHER AND BOYFRIEND CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE OF 2 AND 5-YEAR-OLD SONS, WHO WERE STARVED AND TIED TO BED AS A RESTRAINT
SANTA ANA – A mother and her boyfriend were charged today with child abuse against two boys, ages 2 and 5 years old, who were continuously deprived of food and tied by their ankles to a bed. Cheryl Ann Stuart, 25, and Mario Alberto Colin, 31, both of Santa Ana, are each charged with two felony counts of child abuse and two felony counts of corporal injury on a child. If convicted, both defendants face a maximum sentence of seven years and four months in state prison. The People will be requesting $250,000 bail for each defendant. Stuart and Colin are expected to be arraigned Monday, June 28, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
On June 23, 2010, officers from the Santa Ana Police Department were called to a residence for a child welfare check. Responding police officers found two children who had ligature marks around their ankles and appeared malnourished and emaciated. Subsequent investigation revealed the following:
Stuart is accused of renting a room in a Santa Ana home and sharing the room with her two sons, 2-year-old John Doe #1 and 5-year-old John Doe #2. Colin is accused of having a romantic relationship with Stuart.
Stuart is accused of withholding food and starving her two sons, primarily John Doe #1, as he was potty training and she was angry that he soiled his clothes and bed. She is accused of tying the victims to their bed and crib by their ankles to prevent them from moving around the room.
Colin is accused of exchanging dozens of text messages with Stuart and instructing her to tie down the victims and withhold food and water. Colin worked as a behavioral technician with the El Rancho School District. He was assigned to Durfee Elementary School in Pico Rivera to work with children with behavioral issues.
Both victims were hospitalized and are now in protective custody.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Santa Ana Police Department at (714) 245-8400 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Jamie Joyce at (714) 347-8560.
Deputy District Attorney Kathleen Roberts of the Family Protection Unit is prosecuting this case.