Bakersfield children suffered broken bones, burns, blindness in torture case: reports

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The children spent less than a month with Julio Jose Martinez and Destanee Jayme Kay Bennett. They had no injuries when placed in the couple’s care.

Within weeks the boys — ages 9 months and 4 years — suffered bleeding on the brain, broken bones and apparent burns, police say in court documents released Tuesday.

The 9-month-old was left permanently blind, the documents say. He had a broken thighbone and apparent burns to the soles of his feet when taken May 2 to Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera.

The 4-year-old also was taken to the Madera hospital. He had fluid in his lower abdomen and a burn mark on his left hand, documents said. The injuries left him blind in one eye.

Both children had brain bleeds and severe bruising, the filings say.

“There is video and picture documentation of the progression of bruising,” an investigator wrote in the filings. “Both parents denied ever leaving the juveniles under the care of anyone else except for them.”

Bennett and Martinez have pleaded not guilty to 10 charges including torture and aggravated mayhem. They’ve been held without bail since their arrest in June.

Police said the couple are the father and stepmother of the boys.

Their next hearing is scheduled Aug. 18.

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