Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Abusing Half-Sister

A Hacienda Heights woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of abusing and endangering her 14-year-old half-sister by beating her and forcing her to sleep in a garage during the last five years.

Suzanna Perez, 33, was charged in Pomona Municipal Court with felony child abuse, child endangering and two counts of assault. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to set a date for her preliminary hearing.

According to police reports, Perez habitually beat her half-sister, Martha Martinez, leaving bruises and scars and disfiguring the girl's ear. The Martinez girl, who came to this country from Mexico five years ago after her parents died, was also kept out of school and often had to sleep in the family's garage, investigators said.

A Department of Children's Services spokeswoman said the girl and Perez's two sons are in protective custody.

Perez is free on $50,000 bail.

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