Police: Mother failed to stop assault on infant

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by Jaime E. Galvan / KHOU.com

khou.com

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 23 at 2:24 PM

HOUSTON - A 23-year-old mother faces charges after police said she failed to protect her infant  from abuse, court records show.

Juana Perez-Balboa, of Houston, is charged with injury to a child by omission, court records state.

On Nov. 17, officers with the Houston Police Department responded to a call at 6 p.m. at a apartment at the 7000 block of Grow Lane, according to a police affidavit.

Police arrived to find an infant in respiratory distress and not breathing on her own, the affidavit states. The child was transported to Texas Children's Hospital in critical condition along with her mother, Perez-Balboa who witnessed an assault on her child.

At the hospital, a CARE Team of specialists evaluated the infant's case. One of the doctors diagnosed the infant with multiple subdural, subpial and petechial hemorrhages, the affidavit states.

Doctors also discovered that the infant was healing from multiple rib fractures that appeared to be caused by "forced compression of the infant's chest," the affidavit states. Doctors said that the callus formations indicated that some of the fractures were older that two weeks and some were fairly recent.

The infant also had two left tibial fractures, one corner fracture to the right tibia and corner fractures to the both femurs, the affidavit states. Doctors said that the corner fractures the result of repetitive shaking.

There were also multiple areas of skeletal trauma at different stages of healing, doctors said. They said that these injuries are the result of abusive head and skeletal trauma, the affidavit states.

Investigators with HPD's Juvenile Physical Abuse Division interviewed Perez-Balboa who said that there is family violence in the home and that her common-law husband, Joaquin Limberg is responsible for the injuries to the infant, the affidavit states.

Limberg was arrested on Nov. 18 on a charge of injury to a child, according to court records.

In the interview with investigators, Perez-Balboa said that the couple has been in a relationship for four years and that Limberg would abuse her daily. She added that the alleged abuse has been going on for three years. She said that she never documented or reported the alleged abuse, because Limberg threatened to kill her and her family.

Perez-Balboa said that on Nov. 15 Limberg came home intoxicated and demanded that she cook him dinner, the affidavit sates. The infant woke up crying and Limberg went to the bedroom of the their one-bedroom apartment where the child was sleeping.

In the affidavit, Perez-Balboa said she heard Limberg screaming at the infant and then what sounded like "fists hitting the baby." Then she said the baby stopped crying and then she heard the infant cry "almost as if the baby was catching her breath."

The mother said she did not come to the child's aid fearing for her own safety, claiming that she has interfered before which led to her being assaulted by Limberg, the affidavit states.

Investigators interviewed an adult family member who said that three weeks prior to the incident with the infant she saw Perez-Balboa with a black, swollen eye and a busted lip. Perez-Balboa said that Limberg had assaulted her, but the family member said that the mother had never mentioned any abuse involving the children. Perez-Balboa also has a toddler along with the infant.

The infant was released from the hospital on Nov. 19. Child Protective Services has placed the infant and her toddler sister with a family member after Perez-Balboa failed to place them in a safe place, the affidavit states.

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