VISALIA, Calif. -- There are new and important details about a case of suspected child abuse in the South Valley.
A Visalia husband and wife are accused of starving their children and punishing them with military-like exercises.
Alice and Jose Vasquez are both charged with two counts of felony child abuse, accused of starving Jose's two children--Alice is their stepmother.
Visalia Police reports reveal the disturbing details in the couple's case.
The couple allegedly had severe and strange forms of discipline for the children, such as push-up positions, spankings, and flutter kick exercises.
Investigators interviewed both children separately in October.
One police officer wrote, "When asked how she felt about the push-ups and flutter positions, she stated 'it hurts like something shocking.'"
Later on in the interview, the girl told investigators she and her brother only drank water, couldn't have sweets, stole food from their parents, and had very small food portions, but that, "...sometimes her mom would serve them more than a palm size portion so they wouldn't starve."
During the investigation, a teacher at Shannon Ranch Elementary told police the girl would steal food from other students and "...described v/confidential as being very skinny but then having a bloated stomach similar to the photos and videos of starving children."
Since being in the custody of Child Welfare Services, police reports indicate both children have gained a significant amount of weight.
Alice later told a police detective her punishments were not severe, and she was trying to make the family eat healthier.
In 2010, Alice, whose last name was then Stater, was sent to prison for four years after she was found guilty of starving her brother's three children.
According to police reports, Vasquez dropped them off at child welfare services in 2008, saying she could no longer care for them.
A police officer responded, and noted, "...they were extremely thin with their chest cavities and ribcages showing. Their knee joints and other body parts were clearly protruding and they had little to no muscle definition at all...all three were hospitalized and treated for malnourishment and dehydration upon being admitted."
Prior to Alice and Jose's arrests for the current case, police reports also show Child Welfare Services took reports of child abuse at least twice in 2016.
In both cases, they offered services and closed the case.
If convicted, Jose could spend more than seven years in prison, while Alice faces more than fifteen years. Their next court date is September 6th, for a jury trial setting.
Convicted child abuser accused of starving children again
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