Local News

Oct 21, 2013 1:38 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Attorney Raises Allegations Against Child Abuse Suspect's Mother

CORPUS CHRISTI - A couple accused of abusing their 12-year-old and forcing him to wear a diaper, were in court Monday. This time the well-being of all their children was the center of the court hearing.

Ray Gonzalez is the attorney for all 6 children left to foster care, after their parents, Jose Franco III, 33 and Amanda Gonzales, 29, were arrested in May on child abuse charges. Now, Gonzalez says Lucy Tanguma, the mother of Amanda, should not be a caretaker.

"The concerns are that Ms. Tanguma knew that her daughter was abusing these kids. I've interviewed some children I'm not going to name which, that have made some outcries," Gonzalez said.

He says the children told him that Tanguma knew about the abuse but didn't do anything to stop it.

"These are seriously allegations and they have to be addressed because these are small kids and one of them has a disability that needs a lot of urgent care," he added.

The youngest of the 6 children, who has those special needs is under Tanguma's care, which Gonzalez says is causing more problems for both the foster parents and siblings.

"The issue was more of the conflict between foster parents. I think more importantly, this is about the best interest of the children which I represent. It's just putting them in an environment where they can still be unified and still have sibling contact," Gonzalez said.

However, letting the kids spend time together is now up to Judge Brent Chesney as he prepares to talk with all of them, regarding their claims that Tanguma knew about the abuse.

"These children have been through a lot and to question whether these kids are lying... I don't think it serves the best interest of these children," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez says this will no doubt put more pressure on them but it has to be addressed to ensure they're safe and sound. A follow up hearing will be scheduled for the judge to meet with all the children, regarding the allegations against the Tanguma. The date for that hearing has not yet been set.

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