Court denies new sentence hearing

Published Caption: Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Published Caption: Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

A new sentencing hearing has been denied for the stepfather of two children who were locked starving in a Como Street bathroom for five years.

Tomas Granados, 36, was convicted in 2006 of one count of child neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm and one count of false imprisonment with substantial bodily harm. He was sentenced to 14 to 35 years in prison. His wife Regina Rios, the children's mother, and Esther Rios, the grandmother, also were convicted and sentence to lengthy prison terms.

In his petition, Granados alleged that his sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, that his trial counsel was ineffective at his sentencing hearing, and that his appellate counsel was ineffective for not raising numerous issues on appeal. 

Carson City District Court Judge Jim Wilson denied Granados' petition after a

three-hour evidentiary hearing held Thursday.

Wilson concluded that Granados was well represented by his counsel at all stages of the proceedings. He rejected the claim of cruel and unusual punishment, finding that the Nevada Supreme Court had already determined that Granados' sentence did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

"We appreciate that Judge Wilson took the time to hear evidence in this case and that he found Granados' claims to be unfounded," said District Attorney Neil Rombardo in a press release. "These were truly some of the most disturbing acts of inhumanity against children that we've ever seen in Carson City. Granados and his co-defendants deserve every day of the prison terms they received."

Regina Rios was convicted of two counts of child abuse with substantial bodily harm and one count of false imprisonment with substantial bodily harm. She was sentenced to 22 to 55 years in prison.

Esther Rios was convicted of two counts of child abuse with substantial bodily harm and two counts of false imprisonment with substantial bodily harm. She was sentenced to 28 to 70 years in prison for her role in the abuse.

Granados will not be eligible for parole until approximately 2020.

On Jan. 19, 2006, 16-year-old Jasmine escaped from the confines of the master bedroom bathroom, locking her grandmother inside, and made her way several blocks pushing a shopping cart filled with food she pulled out of the freezer.

A passerby called police believing the girl, who stood just 4-feet tall and weighed only 41 pounds, was a 6-year-old.

Officers went to the Como Street home and after the family denied the existence of a second child, a deputy found Jasmine's brother, 9-year-old David who weighed just only 31 pounds, hiding under a bed. Neither child had attended school in five years.

Three other children in the home were living free and healthy.

Both David and Jasmine, as well as two other minor siblings, are now wards of the state.

Jasmine, who turned 18 on Nov. 11, will remain under state supervision until her 21st birthday.

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