Boyfriend sexually assaults toddler—and mom allegedly blames ‘horrific injuries’ on a dog

A Texas man who sexually assaulted his girlfriend’s 21-month-old daughter in 2016 has learned his fate.

Isaac Andrew Cardenas, 25, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole for sexually assaulting a toddler whose mother allegedly falsely claimed her wounds were sustained in a dog attack. The child was treated for numerous injuries to her genitals and near her anus, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Authorities said the victim’s mother, Crystal Herrera, 24, called 911 on December 31, 2016, and claimed that her daughter had run out of their Bexar County home and was viciously attacked by a dog. KABB reported that authorities said the toddler’s injuries weren’t consistent with a dog attack.

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Investigators and doctors who evaluated the toddler said she had some of worst injuries they’ve ever seen. Testimony revealed that she underwent reconstructive surgery on her sexual organs and temporarily wore a colostomy bag, according to the newspaper.

Jurors reviewed photographs which showed the toddler had been mutilated by an unknown sharp object.

“They’ve [jurors] never seen anything like this,” prosecutor Leo Gonzalez said during closing arguments last month. “These images will never leave their minds.”

The couple was indicted in March 2017. Herrera was charged with injury to a child by omission. She’s free on bail as she awaits trial.

The Express-News reported that Cardenas is expected to appeal Friday’s sentence.

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[Featured image: Isaac Andrew Cardenas, Crystal Herrera/Bexar County Sheriff’s Office]