San Antonio man on trial in ‘horrific’ child sex attack blamed on dogs
Bexar County jurors began hearing testimony this morning in a horrific child abuse case involving a toddler whose mother originally claimed was attacked by dogs but doctors found had been sexually assaulted.
Isaac Andrew Cardenas was indicted in March 2017 on two counts of super aggravated assault of a child.
His girlfriend and the child’s mother, Crystal Herrera, called 911 on Dec. 31, 2016, to report that her daughter, then 21 months, had been viciously attacked by dogs after she wandered away from the South Bexar County home where they lived. When Bexar County sheriff’s deputies and EMS techs arrived, they saw the child had numerous injuries to her genital and anal area.
The child was taken to University Hospital for treatment. Medical evidence indicated her injuries were consistent with a brutal sexual assault, the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office stated at the time of the indictment. Doctors and investigators said the child’s injuries were “horrific,” and “some of the worst they had ever seen.”
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According to reports, medical personnel examining the child’s injuries quickly determined she had suffered life-threatening stab wounds. Authorities said the stab wounds on her upper body and private parts were “nonaccidental.”
In one of his first news conferences following his election, Sheriff Javier Salazar said the child’s injuries were “enough to chill any of us” in law enforcement.
Herrera, 24, also was indicted in March 2017 on one count of injury to a child by omission, which is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison and a $10,000 fine. She is out on bond and is awaiting trial.
Super aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first-degree felony, with an enhanced punishment. If convicted, Cardenas faces 25 years to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Cardenas, 25, is being tried in Felony Impact Court, presided by Judge Laura Parker.
Elizabeth Zavala is a courts and crime reporter in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @elizabeth2863