Deputies arrested a 27-year-old Thurston County woman on Thursday after she allegedly beat her 5-year-old niece, burned her with hot water and tied her up with duct tape and plastic wrap.
Belgica J. Angeles-Frias appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese on Friday afternoon. The judge set bail at $100,000 and found probable cause for one charge: first-degree assault of a child, domestic violence.
Deputy Prosecutor Joe Wheeler called the case “horrific” and said the community needed to be protected from Angeles-Frias. He asked that she have no contact with any minor children. He asked that her bail be set at $1 million.
“I think this is a case where a very vulnerable victim was very horribly abused by the defendant,” Wheeler said.
Public Defender Jim Shackelton said that Angeles-Frias had no prior criminal history and that she posed no threat to to the community if she weren’t supervising children. He asked that bail be set at $25,000.
Court documents give the following account:
A Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy responded to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia this week after hospital employees reported a potential child abuse case. A 5-year-old girl had been brought to the hospital with second-degree burns on her groin, plus cuts and bruises on her legs.
The girl’s mother reported that the child’s aunt, Angeles-Frias, had been looking after the child since September of 2016. The mother had only gotten the child back on Tuesday.
The following day, while the mother was at work, a babysitter noticed that the girl was walking oddly. She asked the child to pull down her shorts and noticed the burns. The mother took the child to the hospital.
The child told a deputy that Angeles-Frias had hit her, but she didn’t know why.
Angeles-Frias allegedly told deputies that she hit the child with her hand, with a clipper, and with a phone cable. Angeles-Frias said she left marks, and she Googled how to get rid of them. She said she learned that warm water would help her get rid of the marks.
Angeles-Frias allegedly told deputies that she dipped a towel in hot water, then pressed it onto one of the marks. The girl flinched and kicked the bowl of hot water, and the water fell onto the girl’s groin.
The deputies asked Angeles-Frias why she didn’t take the child to the hospital. She reportedly said she was worried she would get in trouble because of the welts.
Deputies searched Angeles-Frias’ home and found a bundled up ball of plastic wrap and duct tape, and some Mederma scar cream. Angeles-Frias allegedly told deputies that she tied up the child so that she would let the burns heal.