DallasNews.com: Alfred Santiago, found guilty of starving his girlfriend's three children while keeping them locked in a motel bathroom for months, received 99 years and a $10,000 fine on each case.
He was found guilty on both counts for which he stood trial: knowingly and intentionally causing serious bodily harm to one of the three children who were held captive, a girl who was 11 at the time; and continuously sexually abusing her.
In the sex case, he is not eligible for parole.
The judge asked the jurors not to talk to anyone about the case because the mother's case begins in the morning.
The youngest of the three children starved and kept for months inside a hot, smelly bathroom testified this afternoon in the punishment phase of the trial for the man who kept them there.
The boy, now 6, said he was kept there by his “bad mom” and her boyfriend, Alfred Santiago.
The worst thing about the bathroom the boy said, was that “the door was still closed, and we had to stay there forever.” He said that both his mother and Alfred Santiago beat the children and that they were rarely fed.
He said that going to the hospital after police rescued them was fun “because I had toys over there” and “because I was eating.”
Ashley Lind, the children’s therapist, testified that while the boy might have suffered less than the older children because they protected him as best they could, his development was more severely affected because of his age.
She said that the boy played with dinosaurs as part of his therapy. He selected four adults and three babies, placing the small ones in the middle, with the two pairs of bigger dinosaurs on either side.
He said that two of the adults were carnivores.
Lind said the boy told the toys, “It’s not OK to kill your babies.”
He then told the "dad" dinosaur that he didn’t listen and said he was “very bad.” He put the dad dinosaur in a drawer.
He then asked the mom dinosaur if she would listen. The mom then apologized, and the boy put her in time out.
The boy then brought in the other two adult dinosaurs and made them declare that they only ate berries.
He said the babies weren’t scared anymore.
Lind also testified that the two older children, who testified earlier in the trial, had a hard time coping with telling a room full of strangers what happened to them. Both were very curious about what people thought about them and what they said.
The boy, now 11, had the hardest time. He threw up five or six times after testifying on Monday. Of all the children, Lind said, he has the hardest time coping with what happened to them.
Lind also testified that the 11-year-old believes that, because he is a Christian, he should forgive Alfred Santiago.
“He couldn’t do that, and he thought he might go to hell,” she said. She said that the boy decided that he can’t forgive him even if it means he might go to hell.
Lind said that the 11-year-old believes that Alfred Santiago “should die for what he did.”
“[The boy] believes Alfred is a monster and he has so devastated his life,” Lind testified.
Also during the punishment phase, Matthew Cox, a Children’s Medical Center pediatrician who treated the children, testified that the youngest boy repeatedly screamed “You locked me in the bathroom" after a hospital restroom door closed automatically behind him.
“I don’t think I ever opened a door faster,” Cox said.
The boy then told him, “that’s not nice.”
Cox said the child then would only use the restroom if Cox kept his foot in the door to keep it from closing again.