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Parents Facing Charges in Suspected Torture of Child

Police say the mother inflicted third-degree burns, then failed to seek treatment for 13 hours

Lorena Arenas
Lorena Arenas

Santa Maria parents were arrested Thursday after the mother brought their 2-year-old child into Marian Medical Center with suspicious burns.

Police officers and detectives were called to the hospital to investigate.

According to police, Lorena Arenas, 23, is accused of holding the child under scalding tap water for five minutes. The child suffered third-degree burns on her hands and forearms, and was transported to the Sherman Oaks Burn Center for treatment.

The child’s father, Jose Luis Gonzalez, 41, allegedly observed the injured child immediately after the incident, but refused to take his daughter to the hospital or to call for help, according to police.

After 13 hours at home, Arenas took the child to the hospital for care.

Jose Luis Gonzalez
Jose Luis Gonzalez

The couple were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail. A second biological child was placed into the care of Child Welfare Services.

Arenas faces charges of torture, aggravated mayhem, kidnapping (moving the child a distance to commit a felony), burglary (moving the child into a different room in the house to commit a felony), false imprisonment and child endangerment. Bail was set at $250,000. Gonzales is facing charges of child endangerment with bail set at $100,000.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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