A man who, court paperwork shows, allegedly abused his stepchildren for years could be facing over 20 counts of child abuse.
According to court documents, Rafael Oliver-Mendoza was arrested Thursday after abuse allegations were brought to the attention of a school counselor on March 22.
The documents show a 14-year-old victim told the counselor her 10-year-old brother was hit with a belt which left marks on his back. The 10-year-old was found to have marks on his back and burns on his foot.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety interviewed the 14-year-old, the 10-year-old and a 12-year-old victim, and removed them from the home. Two 16-year-old victims and another 14-year-old victim were not removed at that time, court paperwork said.
According to court documents, during a forensic interview the victims described chronic abuse that had been happening for the past four years. The three victims described being hit with a belt, back scratcher, a hanger and a wire several times.
Court paperwork revealed how one of the victims described having to walk in a circle with her siblings and being hit with a wire by Oliver-Mendoza if they stopped. She also described having their hands and feet burned with a lighter.
She describe how Oliver-Mendoza put a bag over her 10-year-old brother's head until he passed out. She said he was also held under cold water in the shower, court documents said.
Court documents show the victims describing how Oliver-Mendoza would shove toothpicks under their nails for punishment and use tweezers to twist the boys' penises.One of the victims also described having to hold a basketball up and being hit with an object if it dropped.
All three victims described being scared and said they were told not to tell, according to court records.
The documents indicate Oliver-Mendoza might flee if released because he's "not [a] U.S. citizen."
Court paperworks said the two 16-year-old and 14-year-old victims remain in the home and were not "able to be contacted" for an interview along with their siblings.