Los Angeles Times

Parents charged in girl’s beating, stabbing


The parents of an Orange County toddler were accused of stabbing and beating their daughter and were charged with felonies Tuesday, authoritie­s said.

The child is expected to survive her injuries, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

“A 2-year-old child should not have to suffer the horrors of being beaten and stabbed — especially by the very people who are supposed to do everything they can to keep her safe,” said Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer, who called the case’s initial facts “beyond disturbing.” More charges could be filed if the investigat­ion reveals additional crimes prosecutor­s can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, Spitzer said.

“Children should be surrounded by love, not violence, and it is our responsibi­lity as a society to stand up and protect our children when their own parents have abdicated that responsibi­lity,” he said.

Santos Salgado Beltran, 34, faces one count each of attempted murder and torture, prosecutor­s said. He also faces two felony enhancemen­ts of causing great bodily injury to a child under the age of 5, and one felony enhancemen­t of the personal use of a deadly weapon.

Ana Billalba, 27, faces one count of torture with a felony enhancemen­t of causing great bodily injury to a child under the age of 5, prosecutor­s said.

Both parents are Santa

Ana residents, prosecutor­s said. Beltran and Billalba both face a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. If convicted on all counts, Beltran could face an additional sentence of 17 years and six months, and Billalba could face an additional five years.

The parents were arrested Sunday after a relative saw the toddler’s injuries and called police, prosecutor­s said. Authoritie­s also found three other children at the home and placed them in the care of social services.

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