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Modesto mom accused of child abuse and torture. Boy is in critical condition

Modesto Bee - 9/15/2020

Sep. 15--A Modesto woman and her boyfriend were arrested on suspicion of abusing her 7-year-old son, causing injuries that has left him in critical condition.

Modesto Police were called to the Live Oak Apartments at 1900 Oakdale Road Sunday afternoon by paramedics and fire personnel who were treating the boy for serious injuries, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear. The boy's mother, 35-year-old Jovonna Cruz, had originally called 911.

On Monday Cruz and her 41-year-old boyfriend Eyvar Rivera, were arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

Bear said Cruz also faces a charge of torture but would not say what that charge stems from, how the boy sustained his injuries or if a weapon was used, over what period of time he was abused or describe his injuries. She did say, "He had multiple injuries on multiple parts of his body."

According to custody records, Cruz also faces an enhancement of causing serious bodily injury. She is being held on $150,000 bail.

Rivera does not appear in custody records. It was unclear Tuesday morning if he had been released on bail.

Bear said officers responded to the apartment on March 11 for a security check on the boy after an extended family member reported he was possibly being abused.

"There were no visible signs of injury and the child did not substantiate claims that he had been abused," Bear said.

The call was consequently closed but a report was forwarded to Child Protective Services, Bear said. She said she doesn't know if they followed up.

Investigators are awaiting medical reports to determine if all of the child's injuries were caused Sunday or if any of them were from previous abuse.

An 18-month old child, the daughter of both Cruz and Rivera, was removed from the home and is in the custody of CPS.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact Detective Sean Dodge at ?209-342-9123? or Crime Stoppers at ?209-521-4636?.


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