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Santa Ana parents charged with stabbing, torture of 2-year-old daughter

Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer speaks at a lectern with news microphones.
Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer, shown during a June news conference, said the initial facts were “beyond disturbing” in the case of two Santa Ana parents accused of stabbing and beating their 2-year-old daughter.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The parents of an Orange County toddler were accused of stabbing and beating their daughter and were charged with felonies Tuesday, authorities said.

The child is expected to survive her injuries, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

“A 2-year-old child should not have to suffer the horrors of being beaten and stabbed — especially by the very people who are supposed to do everything they can to keep her safe,” said Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer, who called the case’s initial facts “beyond disturbing.”

More charges could be filed if the investigation reveals additional crimes prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, Spitzer said.

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“Children should be surrounded by love, not violence, and it is our responsibility as a society to stand up and protect our children when their own parents have abdicated that responsibility,” he said.

Santos Salgado Beltran, 34, faces one count each of attempted murder and torture, prosecutors said. He also faces two felony enhancements of causing great bodily injury to a child under the age of 5, and one felony enhancement of the personal use of a deadly weapon.

Ana Billalba, 27, faces one count of torture with a felony enhancement of causing great bodily injury to a child under the age of 5, prosecutors said.

Both parents are Santa Ana residents, prosecutors said.

Beltran and Billalba both face a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. If convicted on all counts, Beltran could face an additional sentence of 17 years and six months, and Billalba could face an additional five years.

The parents were arrested Sunday after a relative saw the toddler’s injuries and called police, prosecutors said. Authorities also found three other children at the home and placed them in the care of social services.


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