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      Sister would rather spend time behind bars for her younger sibling

      The eldest sister of Sylvia Cortinas is pleading her innocence and claiming that it is unfair that her sister is behind bars.

      Cortinas was charged Friday with injury to a child for failing to protect her daughter from her abusive stepfather.

      However, Claudia Cortinas says that neither her sister nor their family had ever seen Adolfo Garza Jr. abuse any of her three children.

      "She never knew he was capable of hitting any of her kids cause he was always really lovable to them," Claudia says.

      Claudia Cortinas has witnessed the rocky relationship of Adolfo Garza Jr. and Sylvia Cortinas evolve for the past 8 year.

      Claudia says Garza was constantly lying and disappearing for months without warning.

      The last time Garza abandoned Cortinas was when she told him that she was pregnant with his son.

      He returned when the baby was 2 months old and hasn't left since.

      However, Claudia says that throughout these years she never expected he would be capable of abusing a child.

      "It's a surprise if we had known he was capable of that I wouldn't have kept my arms crossed," Claudia says. "I love those kids with all my heart."

      On November 25th, Sylvia Cortinas went to take her eldest daughter to school.

      When she returned home, she found her second daughter bruised and missing pieces of her hair.

      Immediately she took her to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.

      That's where Claudia tells Action 4 the truth came out.

      "She keeps saying her daddy hit her with the door," Claudia says. "Her daddy sat her on the floor and hit her with the door."

      Police were present when the three year old said that.

      Eventually, police arrested both Adolfo Garza Jr. and Sylvia Cortinas and charged them with injury to a child.

      Garza's bond is set at $100,000 and Cortinas at $50,000.

      Claudia says that the three year old is doing much better.

      All three of Cortinas children are staying with a distant relatives.

      Claudia tells Action 4 that though they are doing very well, the children are constantly asking when is their mom coming home.

      "I thought they were trying to help my niece, that the police was trying to help my niece," Claudia says. "I think they are hurting her more now with her mom being in jail that with her out."

      Claudia believe Garza hit the girl because he was stressed out over losing his job two months ago.

      However, she says there's no excuse for hurting an innocent child.