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Family charged with multiple felonies

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Six felony charges were filed in Carson City Justice Court against each of the relatives charged in the starvation and false imprisonment of two children.

The children’s mother, Regina Rios, 33; grandmother Esther Rios, 56; and stepfather Tomas Granados, 33, are each charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in substantial bodily or mental harm, two counts of child neglect or endangerment resulting in substantial bodily or mental harm and two counts of false imprisonment to avoid arrest.

According to the complaints filed Wednesday, the trio stand accused of keeping Regina Rios’ 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son locked and starving in the master bathroom of the family’s Como Street apartment between Jan. 19, 2003, and Jan. 19, 2006. When the children were discovered last week, the girl weighed 41 pounds and the boy weighed 31 pounds.

District Attorney Noel Waters said the dates on the complaint reflect the law’s limitations to charge after three years have passed on a felony. He said he did not want to interject a statute of limitations argument into the complaint when ample evidence exists otherwise.

“There’s certainly been enough of an ongoing pattern of conduct and enough evidence of abuse, neglect or endangerment in the past three years. I don’t think it makes any difference,” he said.

The complaint also alleges the children endured frequent beatings, were purposefully isolated from peers and were deprived education for a period of years.

In the neglect charge specific to the boy, Waters alleges the adults also failed to provide education or medical service to correct the child’s speech impediment.

A sheriff’s department report states sticks, possibly used in the alleged beatings, were removed from the grandmother’s closet, a heating vent and behind the couch during a search Jan. 20.

Also taken into evidence were two bowls and two spoons from the master bathroom, blankets found under the bathroom sink, family photographs and paperwork, and a video recording of the premises.

The Rios women and Granados are each being held on $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Friday.

Three healthy children found in the home are in the custody of the state.

The two victims are listed in stable condition and are “adjusting well,” said Jeannie Corbit, spokeswoman for Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, on Friday.

Under Nevada law, felony child abuse and child neglect carry a penalty of two to 20 years each and felony false imprisonment carries a penalty of one to 15 years.

— Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.