A Tempe woman, 27 year old Nicole Renee Candelaria, was arrested on Saturday on charges of child abuse-domestic violence after making her 3-year-old step daughter eat hew own feces as punishment. The child's father was away, and it is reported that Candelaria often watched the children while he worked.
Sources say that the child was found to have bruising on her chest and on other parts of her body suggesting ongoing abuse in addition to this incident. She is in otherwise stable condition. Candelaria's bond has been set shockingly low at $5,400. She does not appear to have any legal council at this time, and it is unclear whether or not she is cooperating with authorities.
What is clear at this time is that Candelaria got angry with the 3 year old for defecating in her bathwater and then forced her to eat it. The childrens father has not released a statement, and it is unclear whether or not he has been in contact with Candelaria. She is currently awaiting sentencing at the Tempe City Jail.
It is believed that the children are with the father, and as of now he is not believed to have known of any abuse. We will be updating readers as more facts become available.
Please go to your local child abuse organizations for education on how you can help prevent child abuse. Also, community funding for programs like Pieces of Me is critical due to budget cuts in the government. As a community it is time we take a stand and give these silent victims a voice!