Beauty of many shines through in ugliest case
November 29, 2006
When prosecutor Anne Langer asked 12-year-old David if he had anything to say to the man accused of helping the boy’s mother and grandmother starve and hold him and his sister captive, David simply said: “You’re ugly.”
He was right. Everything about this case was ugly.
Grandmother Esther Rios, mother Regina Rios and stepfather Tomas Granados were sentenced Wednesday for their role in starving David and Jasmine, 17, and locking them in a bathroom of a Carson City apartment for five years.
The torture to which these children were subjected is nothing short of evil.
But this true-life horror story is also one of kindness, love, selflessness and heroism.
The true heroes will always be Jasmine, who somehow found the courage to escape the confines of the bathroom to seek help, and David who testified against his captors. Both have shown determination in working to overcome the physical, mental and emotional scars left by those who should have protected them.
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Others also deserve recognition.
Sarah Koehner was the only person to call the police when she saw a small girl pushing a shopping cart down a street Jan. 19.
Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Gonzales was the first to respond. The family members, who had perfected their fabrications, told him the same lies they’d told so many times before.
Jasmine was ill, and she told lies to get attention, they’d said.
Although their lies would have been much easier to believe than the grotesque story the small girl was telling him, Gonzales checked it out anyway.
Once the truth came out, people rallied, donating money and supplies. All sorts of community organizations and service groups lent their support.
Foster parents stepped forward. Countless people prayed.
And on Wednesday, Judge William Maddox sentenced all three adults to the maximum sentences possible.
To all of you, we say: You’re beautiful.