|Rest in peace
Death Of Young Girl In Brooklyn Ruled A Homicide
January 11, 2006
The Medical Examiner’s office says a
7-year-old girl who was found dead in her home in Brooklyn Wednesday was killed by a blow to the head after suffering from
child abuse syndrome, and police are now ruling the death a homicide.
Nixmary Brown was found dead around 4:30 a.m.
in her Bedford Stuyvesant home. Police say her mother, 27-year-old Nixaliz Santiago, told a neighbor to call 911 after she
found her daughter unconscious.
Investigators say Brown suffered from child abuse syndrome and has an assortment of
injuries, including bruises on her body, that appear to have been received over time.
Along with the signs of abuse,
the ME says Brown was also severely underweight, weighing only 36 pounds.
Sources tell NY1 police found what are being
described as "heinous and brutal" conditions in Brown's home, including a room and a chair where the girl was apparently tied
up by her ankles and beaten.
Santiago and the victim’s stepfather, 27-year-old Ceasar Rodriguez, were taken
to the 79th Precinct.
Police removed Santiago's five other children, ranging in age from 6 months to 9-years-old,
and brought them to Woodhull Hospital for evaluation. They were placed in the custody of the Administration for Children's
ACS says it had been investigating the family after receiving a report of abuse and neglect on December
There had been a previous report to ACS from the girl's school as far back as last fall, but the city agency
ruled it unfounded. The school also had reported excessive absences from school last spring.
The ACS Commissioner
says he is "deeply disturbed" by Nixmary's death. He says the agency is reviewing the family's case and that: “What
will follow…is an overall strengthening of our system designed to protect children and support families. That review
will and must go forward."
"ACS was called, someone alerted them, and they tried to do an investigation, obviously
not fast enough,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “[ACS Commissioner] John Mattingly is looking at it, Overall,
ACS does a very good job, but any tragedy, anyone that slips through is one too many."
Brown was the second oldest
child in the family. She was in the second grade at nearby P.S. 256.
NEW YORK (AP) -- There had been warning signs for years before 7-year-old
Nixzmary Brown died from a vicious blow to the head.
Nixzmary Brown, 7, died after being repeatedly abused during her short life. She weighed
School employees had reported that she had been absent for weeks the previous year.
Neighbors noticed unexplained injuries and noted the child appeared underfed and small for
Child welfare workers had been alerted twice but said they found no conclusive evidence of
Two years after the girl's death shocked the city, hastened child welfare reforms and made
her name synonymous with child abuse, a jury was picked Wednesday to hear her stepfather's murder trial. Opening statements were to begin that afternoon.
Nixzmary's personal hell is likely to be exposed at trial through symbols of her horrific
demise: the rope used to tether her to a chair, the cat-litter box she used as a toilet, the bathtub used to dunk her under
Authorities say evidence against her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, includes crime-scene photos
inside the family's three-bedroom apartment and a videotape of the defendant casting blame on the malnourished victim, who
weighed 45 pounds at the time of her death.
"Sometimes she used to get me real angry and I used to just throw her," Rodriguez said during
a post-arrest interview made public during a family court hearing.
Prosecutor Ama Dwimoh has called it a case of torture. Nixzmary "was beaten repeatedly,"
Dwimoh said. "She was bound like an animal."
Rodriguez's defense attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz, has sought to blame Nixzmary's mother, who
faces a separate trial, for fostering an environment of abuse, and an overburdened bureaucracy -- the city Administration
for Children's Services -- for doing too little to stop it.
During jury selection, the lawyer has signaled he also plans to explore the dilemma of how
best to discipline children.
Schwartz said outside court Wednesday that his client is guilty only of being "a strict disciplinarian"
and reiterated claims that the mother was responsible. Once the jury hears the defense case, he said, "It's going to become
very clear who the monster is here."
Opening statements -- delayed by a last-minute juror substitution -- were scheduled to start
The case, coupled with a series of high-profile deaths of children known to child welfare
workers, sparked a public outcry for reform. City officials and lawmakers responded by bolstering the corps of caseworkers
and drafting legislation to give life in prison without parole to parents who cause the death of a child under 14 through
Nixzmary's torment began making headlines shortly after January 1, 2006, when her mother
reported that she found the girl unconscious around 4 a.m. in a home where she was raising five other children, ages 6 months
to 9 years. Nixzmary was dead when authorities arrived.
Prosecutors allege that after the mother and Rodriguez were arrested, they found evidence
Nixzmary had been confined to a ramshackle back room with the cat box. They also claim the stepfather incriminated himself
by seeking to portray the victim as an unruly child who courted punishment by harassing her siblings and "always lying to
Rodriguez, 29, admitted on video that he restrained the girl "by putting duct tape on her
hand and tying her to a chair."
On Nixzmary's final night, he said, she enraged him by stealing yogurt and trashing computer
equipment. The punishment: holding her under cold water, just like his father had punished him. Investigators believe that
in the process, he hit her head on a faucet, delivering the death blow.
"She was giving me a hard time, so I pounded her on her back," the stepfather said in his
version. Later, he added, "I laid her naked on the bed and told my wife to leave her alone for a while."
|Xctasy Rest in Peace
Slipping through the cracks
An investigation into the child abuse of Xctasy Garcia
|By ANNE MILLER and MIKE GOODWIN, Staff writers |
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Thursday,
July 27, 2006
|The little girl screamed and screamed, like she was dying. Her cries
penetrated the walls of Reggie Belton's room at the Twins Motor Inn.
It was the last week in May, and Belton just wanted to watch the NBA playoffs on TV. But the cries
made it hard to hear. He heard a man in Room 16 yell "Get in the corner!" Belton drifted off to sleep, but more screams woke
him at about 2 a.m.
Finally, he couldn't take it any longer. He pounded on the door of Room 16. He thought he heard someone
muzzle the child.
The next day, Belton told the motel's manager, who called county authorities. They said he should tell
Belton to phone New York's child abuse hot line. Belton never did.
Two weeks later, the couple in Room 16 -- Delia Hernandez, 26, and her boyfriend, Jose Munoz, also
26 -- were charged with the attempted sale, torture and attempted murder of Hernandez's 4-year-old daughter, Xctasy
Garcia. Xctasy's eyes were burned with bleach, her arm and shoulder fractured and her delicate body marred by cigarette burns
and covered with bruises. Law enforcement officials believe Munoz targeted Xctasy because she was the child of his
girlfriend's former lover.
|Rest in Peace
Russell Roberts of Queens New York has pleaded guilty of viciously beating his 7-year-old daughter, nicknamed C.C., over two nights, by kneeing her over and over in the stomach,
breaking her ribs, on one night and then beating her with his belt the next night, and then refusing to get her medical attention
when it was obvious her health was failing.
Early reports state that the poor child tested positive for cocaine when she was born, had lived in foster care for a while, had been injured
at least twice before (once with a broken leg and the second time with a broken back), and was still placed back in the custody
of her father.
A neighbor had once seen the little girl with a bloodshot eye but the child had told her that she had run into a doorknob.
While the neighbor had called protective services nothing ever seemed to have come of it. However, the woman knew things weren’t
right in the Roberts house, “His daughter was afraid of him, you could tell.”
The neighbor described how the girl looked at her funeral:
“She looked old, beat up and worn out. She looked 30 years old, like they put makeup on her and stuffed her in a
Certainly there was no doubt about little C.C. being beat up. She was failed first by her mother who took cocaine while
pregnant, then by her father who beat her, then by social services which failed to protect her, and now the courts have failed
her - daddy is only getting 10 years for murdering his daughter.
And folks…..the stories don’t end there. Today there were two other similar horror stories that broke:
Baby murdered in microwave
Murdering father only gets 5 years
|Rest in Peace
A Brooklyn father went berserk and fatally plunged a kitchen knife into his 18-month-old girl's
heart yesterday after stabbing her mother - all in front of two of her other young children, police and neighbors
"Help me!" shouted the wounded, blood-soaked mom, Natasha Martin, 32, as she carried her dying daughter outside in her
arms and banged on a neighbor's window in Canarsie.
"She didn't know where the blood was coming from," said neighbor Veronica Cummings. "She was bleeding all over."
Cummings' daughter, Hallacy Knight, 23, sped the mother of four and the mortally wounded tot, Samara Palmer, to Brookdale
University Hospital while Cummings watched Martin's sons, ages 4 and 5.
"They saw the whole thing," Cummings said. "The older one was throwing up and the little one was crying."
Moments earlier inside the baby's bedroom on Bedell Lane, Dwayne Palmer, 32, stabbed Martin's head, throat and back with
a knife he had brought from his East New York home, cops and relatives said.
Palmer had wanted to take Samara back to his home, but Martin refused.
As Martin's sons cowered nearby, an enraged Palmer grabbed another knife from the kitchen and stabbed the baby at 1 a.m.,
cops and relatives said.
"She tried stopping him, but she was hurting from her own stabbing," said Martin's mom, Narissa Martin, 57.
Her tiny heart and left lung sliced by the blade, Samara died at Brookdale at 2:08 a.m.
Samara was just starting to speak her first words and take her first steps.
"She could say 'mama' and 'papa,'" Cummings said.
Hours later, Martin was in stable condition. "She's in pain," said Narissa Martin. "It's horrible, but we're trying to
hang on right now."
Palmer fled but cops nabbed him later at his Hinsdale St. home, where he lives with his grandmother.
He was charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons possession, police said. He faces up to 25 years
to life in prison, if convicted.
Palmer - whom friends said has a history of mental illness - has two sealed arrests for aggravated harassment and assault,
police sources said.
In recent weeks, Natasha Martin complained to pals that Palmer wasn't taking his medication and was acting "paranoid" and
But Martin felt sorry for Palmer and couldn't bear to leave him - even ignoring an order of protection that she had filed
a month or so ago, sources said.
Originally published on June 20, 2006
Former NYC child welfare worker sentenced for rape, incestBy SAMUEL MAULLAssociated Press
March 1, 2007, 5:22 PM EST
NEW YORK -- A former employee of the city's child welfare agency who admitted having sex with his two daughters, one
of their friends and the daughter of a girlfriend and co-worker was sentenced Thursday to 18 to 24 years in prison.
the victims were underage when the defendant, a 42-year-old former supervisor at the Administration for Children's Services,
began having sex with them, Assistant District Attorney Robert Ferrari said.
West New York, N.J. -WABC, Sept. 16, 2005) - It's a case that began as an abandoned
baby investigation and has turned into something more sinister. Police have arrested the father of the 18-year-old accused
of throwing her two newborns down an airshaft and charged him with aggravated rape.
Marcus Solis live on the scene in West New York with more.
Initially the teen claimed the babies had been fathered by two separate men but prosecutors now say she admits to years
of sexual abuse by her father, who has since been arrested.
The teen is still charged with murder and attempted murder but her lawyer says this changes everything.
She appeared in court as a defendant, though prosecutors now say Lucila Ventura is a victim as well. Ventura was arrested
Tuesday after police say she threw her newborn son down an airshaft of her West New York building.
It was then investigators found the mummified remains of a girl the 18-year-old had delivered a year-and-a-half ago. Today
prosecutors charged her father - Jose Ventura - with aggravated sexual assault against his daughter, and say he is the father
of the two babies.
Anthony Fusco, Lucila Ventura's Attorney: "We are now learning that this abuse may have started to occur when she was 13
or 14 years-old and continued on multiple occasions each week for years."
An investigation is still underway to determine if the teen acted alone or if her father knew or helped her dispose of
Ventura will undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Her lawyer says she's suffering from postpartum depression as well as effects
of years of abuse, which he says no one else in the family knew about.
Anthony Fusco: "The father and Ms. Ventura has indicated no one else know about it, so the pressure on that young girl
had to be immeasurable."
Lucila Ventura is being held on $250,000 bail, her father on $500,000 bail. She will be transferred to a state psychiatric
facility for evaluation. That should happen by Monday.
September 29, 2006 — An elderly former screenwriter was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for sexually
violating a 5-year-old girl in her Lower East Side bedroom last year as her transsexual dad, who set up the tryst, sat, in
“Ariel Berlin, you are a sick, pathetic, disgusting old man,” the girl’s aunt said to the 73-year-old
monster. “I hope you die - and rot in jail. And also in hell.”
Berlin, who lived on West 85th Street and whose lawyer said he was an uncredited screenwriter for “On the Waterfront,”
had met the dad through a phone dating service.
Berlin expressed interest in seeing the girl after spotting her picture in the father’s home. The dad, now serving
15 years for repeatedly molesting the girl himself, obliged.