Stepdad charged after teen spent almost a month with fractured foot
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 00:48:50 GMT —
McAllen police confirm a man accused of injuring a 15 year-old's foot is behind bars.
Jonathon Morales was arrested for injury to a child, and is now in the Hidalgo County jail.
The mother of the teen is now deported after being arrested for not reporting the assault and neglecting her son's injury for almost a month.
Action 4 News reached out to a civil rights group to find out what rights undocumented immigrants have when reporting crimes to police.
Nearly 300 cases of domestic violence towards undocumented immigrants are pending at the South Texas Civil Right Project.
"They come to us seeking help," a project worker who we will call Cynthia said.
Cynthia does not want to be identified because she works directly with victims of domestic violence.
She said undocumented immigrants can file a Violence Against Woman Act (VAWA).
It's a grant that provides protection to undocumented immigrants while they file charges against the offender and it can also provide a path to citizenship for the abuse survivor.
We asked Cynthia what could have caused Mely Saldana, an undocumented immigrant, from reporting her husband to police after he allegedly attacked her son.
"Most of these women are men that are victims of domestic violence are afraid of reporting any kind of abuse and making any kind of call to police because they fear they are going to be deported," she said.
Saldana was arrested for neglecting her 15 year-old son's injured foot for 25 days and not reporting her husband, Morales, who allegedly caused the injury.
She was voluntarily deported after authorities turned her over to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
"She should have reported it to police just for the safety of her son and herself," Cynthia said.
A family friend to Saldana told Action 4, she had good intentions for her four children, but no money and she feared police.
Saldana did leave her husband to protect her children from another attack, but now an international boundary separates her from the one's she loves most.
To contact the South Texas Civil Right Project call 956-787-8171.