Monterey County

Judge ok's trial for accused child abusers, torturers

Eraca Craig and Christian Deanda now face the possibility of life in prison with new charges

Torture charges for Salinas couple in child abuse case

SALINAS, Calif. - 1/7/15 4:57p.m.: A Monterey County judge has agreed to move forward with a jury trial in the case of Eraca Craig and Christian Deanda, the couple accused of torturing and abusing their three children in north Salinas.  The judge agreed there was enough evidence on the 14 charges to go to trial.   The two will be back in court on January 21st.

4/24/14: New charges were added Wednesday for two Salinas women accused of abusing their three children. If convicted, they could now face life in prison.

Eraca Craig and Christian Deanda were in Monterey County court Wednesday morning. New charges revealed by the prosecution include one count of torture for both Deanda and Craig.

Prosecutors said this torture charge deals with alleged abuse against the 11-year-old girl who lived with the couple in their North Salinas home.

The bail for the two women remains at $500,000 each. That bail was raised in March after new charges were added against the two in this case. The torture charge was added Wednesday to the original child endangerment charge, one felony charge of child imprisonment and two misdemeanor charges of child abuse neglect for each woman.

Prosecutors said why they believe the torture charges were warranted in this case.

"Torture requires there be an infliction of great bodily injury, with the intent to cause extreme pain and suffering for a sadistic purpose," said Stephanie Hulsey, assistant district attorney for Monterey County.

The prosecution says some of the information in their case against the two women was provided to them by the children themselves.

Central Coast News obtained the search warrant that detailed some of the conversations between investigators and the children including one in which the 11-year-old girl reportedly told investigators she was chained up to a wall inside the home with a collar.

This new torture charge carries the potential sentence of life in prison with possible parole after seven years. The judge in this case set the preliminary hearing back to June.

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