Pennsylvania police charged a 19-year-old woman on Tuesday with alleged sexual abuse and physical torture of four children, the prosecutor said.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced several charges against Anais Munoz of Chester, Pennsylvania, including child endangerment, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and assault.
The four juvenile victims were between the ages of 7 and 13, and the abuse escalated for two years beginning in 2020, the same year Munoz moved in with the victims’ family, according to a press release from Stollsteimer’s office.
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“This is a truly horrific case where young victims are being physically and mentally tortured,” Stollsteimer said. “Using a wide variety of implements, the defendant attempted to physically harm these children – by strangling them with cords, beating them with a bat or ‘branding’ them with a hair straightener.”
By using these torture methods, he added, Munoz tried to keep her victims from revealing her “horrific” behavior and continue to receive sexual pleasure from them.
She also used the children to get drugs onto the street, according to the prosecutor.
“These children will bear the physical and emotional scars of the defendant’s conduct for the rest of their lives,” Stollsteimer said. “Unfortunately, we cannot undo this tragedy, but rest assured that we will do everything we can to support these victims and hold the accused accountable.”
Chester police responded to reports of child abuse at a residence on W. 8th Street, and on January 5, the victims were interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Wallingford, Delaware County.
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The victims provided details of the Munoz’s actions related to physical and sexual abuse, which began in 2020.
The children said that objects such as a lighter, hammer, flashlight, pendants, computer, knives, cords and blades were used to abuse them, and even said that a hair straightener had been used several times on the two oldest victims, cutting their thighs, genitals and seat.
There were also allegations of physical abuse and extensive sexual abuse where the two eldest victims were forced to provide sexual pleasure to Munoz. The younger victims witnessed the latter and were able to testify about the allegations.
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To prevent the children from telling their mother, Munoz allegedly threatened them, causing them to lie to their mother about the cause of their injuries.
Stollsteimer said the sexual assault allegedly happened at night when the victim’s parents were asleep.
Munoz is currently in custody in New Jersey and is expected to be extradited to Delaware County on Wednesday.