A California throuple faces over 100 years in prison, collectively, for multiple counts of child sexual abuse and torture.
Robert Chavez, 41, pleaded no contest earlier this week to numerous charges of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and torture that came after over a year’s worth of violence inside his residence in the small town of Magalia, according to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office.
Magalia is a census-designated place in northern California situated among the path of the 2018 Camp Fire – the largest and most destructive wildfire in the history of the Golden State.
Prosecutors say Chavez’s reign of household terror impacted five minor children between the ages of 4 and 16 years old. Specifically, his plea was in relation to multiple counts of rape and molestation of four female children; and one count of torture of a young boy.
The five children shared two mothers, Amanda Johnson, 38, and Kelsey Cabrera, 35, each of whom pleaded no contest to four counts of felony child abuse and one count of dissuading witnesses.
The adults and children lived together in a house on Colter Way.
In January, one of the children relayed information regarding the abuse to someone at school. A follow-up interview was conducted by investigators with the DA’s office, who later attempted to arrest Chavez inside the home, the DA’s office said in a press release.
“During an initial search of the home, Chavez was not initially located, but investigators discovered he was hiding in a crawl space above the home’s garage,” the press release says. “After a prolonged standoff, involving multiple agencies, Chavez was eventually arrested and taken into custody. Over the following weeks, the district attorney investigators conducted multiple interviews and learned the extent of the abuse occurring in the home at the hands of Chavez.”
The DA’s office said the physical and sexual abuse occurred “so often that it was impossible to grasp the full extent of what the children suffered.”
Investigators say that, over time, multiple incidents of sexual abuse were disclosed as well as “extreme levels” of physical abuse and that law enforcement had to comb through a “staggering” amount of evidence in the case. Some of those incidents include the children being shot with BB guns, beaten with whips and paddles, and being punched and kicked in their faces and bodies.
“Chavez would routinely take pleasure in torturing a young boy in the home, beating him until he could not stand and inflicting extensive bruising,” the DA’s office said. “Chavez also burned a young girl with cigarettes to her face. Chavez would also threaten to harm the children if they ever disclosed any of the abuse.”
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey went on to describe the abuse in the house on Colter Way as “truly horrific” and easily one of the worst cases his office had seen in some time.
On top of all that, Chavez also allegedly admitted culpability to one count of mayhem over an incident involving a former girlfriend where he strangled her during an argument and held a hot curling iron to an intimate part of her body, leaving permanent scars, the DA’s office said.
At a hearing on Wednesday, a defense attorney asked for Chavez to be released pending sentencing, citing “difficulties” with other inmates at the jail. The judge in the case denied that request.
Chavez faces 80 years to life in state prison; the female defendants face up to 10 years and 8 months each in prison.
Chavez is slated to be sentenced on May 17; Johnson and Cabrera are slated to be sentenced on May 24.
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Robert Chavez and both mothers of five children convicted
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