53-year-old Jorge Barahona was attacked at the Miami-Dade County Pre-Trial Detention Center because of the “the nature of his pending charges,” police stated.
According to investigators, five inmates – 29-year-old Oscar Martinez, 27-year-old Devaun Spaulding, 20-year-old Klauss Moise, 24-year-old Hakeem Drane, and 21-year-old Armando Verdecia – tampered with the facility’s surveillance cameras prior to the attack. All five are facing new charges because of the assault.
Barahona sustained a nosebleed, multiple facial bruises, and a small cut on his nose.
Barahona is accused of torturing his adopted 10-year-old children, Victor and Nubia, for years before he killed Nubia and stuffed her body in a trash bag filled with chemicals in 2011.
Investigators found the bag tossed into the back of Barahona’s pest control truck, and Victor unconscious in the cab of the truck. Victor was covered in chemical burns.
Victor told investigators that his adoptive parents, Barahona and his wife Carmen, 69, had viciously beaten him and his sisters for years.
He told police that he had been tied up in the bathtub when the couple beat his twin sister to death in another room.
KUTV reported that the Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF) had done little to save the children despite receiving multiple reports of the alleged abuse.
In 2005, there were multiple reports of sexual abuse against the two children.
In 2006, Nubia’s teacher reported that she’d been absent 17 times and had a “huge bruise” on her neck when she came to school. FDCF concluded that the injury was because of Nubia’s “hyperactivity,” KUTV reported.
Four days before Nubia’s body was found, FDCF received a report from a therapist who was working with Jorge and Carmen’s niece.
“They are being taped up w/their arms and legs and kept in a bathtub-all day and all night and she undoes their arms to eat and she has been threatened not to say anything,” the record of the call noted.
Pediatrician and child abuse and neglect expert Dr. Eli Newberger testified during a Florida Senate special master report hearing in 2016, stating that for three years, Barahona had forced the children to sleep in an ice-filled bathtub on a near-daily basis.
He also put hot sauce on the twins’ genitals, ears, and noses, and placed plastic bags over their heads.
Newberger added that Barahona allegedly subjected Nubia to electric shocks lasting as long as a minute and beat Nubia and Victor with a mop and a shoe until they bled.
Victor had to undergo corrective surgery after Barahona punched him in the mouth.
According to KUTV, Barahona also allegedly doused Victor with chemicals, deprived him of food for days, and forced him to take pills that gave him seizures.
According to Newberger, days before her murder, Nubia told Victor that she wanted to die because she couldn’t stand the suffering anymore.
Newberger noted that Victor’s “entire arc of development has been nothing but deprivation, assaults, witnessing assaults, including a murderous assault on his sister.”
The report stated that Victor would need psychological and psychiatric care for the rest of his life, and his “capacity to have a job and provide for himself, his ability to live independently, and his capacity to have a family and conduct himself as an adult are crippled” because of the abuse.
FDCF paid Victor a $5 million settlement. He is now in his 20s.
Carmen, who is currently serving a life sentence, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, and agreed to testify against her husband.
Barahona’s trial, set to start in April 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic.