Autopsy reveals toddler was beaten, resulting in death - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Autopsy reveals toddler was beaten, resulting in death

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - A 31-year-old Yigo man who is accused of beating a 23-month-old girl to death remains behind bars awaiting a hearing before the magistrate judge. But court documents filed today reveal the horrific injuries the child sustained that the medical examiner says resulted in her death.

John Jesse Castro is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated assault, family violence and child abuse.  According to court documents, the seriously injured child was brought to the Guam Memorial Hospital on Saturday and was unresponsive on arrival. The toddler had bruising to her face, lower back, and a fractured skull. 

An autopsy conducted on Monday revealed that the little girl had been beaten so severely that her small intestines ruptured and her liver had been cut as a result of blunt force trauma.  The girl also had multiple bumps to the back of the head that the medical examiner determined happened several days before she had even been brought to the hospital.  Her death was ruled a homicide. 

The child's mother told police she left her daughter in the care of Castro when she went to work on Friday night.  She returned home the next day and noticed that her child had vomited and kept calling out to her.  Court documents indicate the woman questioned Castro about the bruises she found on her daughter's head and back. Castro allegedly claimed that the toddler had fallen and bumped her head and that he massaged her because she was complaining of pain. 

The 31-year-old said he may have crushed the toddler by rolling over on her while she was sleeping.  When he was picked up by police, Castro said the girl had fallen and bumped her head and that he put ice on her head and massaged her head and back.

Although he was scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday, the parties agreed to moving the hearing to Thursday afternoon as his defense attorney is handling another matter in the District Court of Guam.  The magistrate hearing is scheduled for two o'clock Thursday afternoon. 

Castro has been arrested three times in the last decade.  In January 2009 he was arrested on charges of family violence and theft of property but was released less than two months later. In March 2008 he was arrested for assault and family violence and released the next day. In 2003, Castro was arrested on charges of 1st and 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct, child abuse and family violence. 

According to the Department of Corrections, Castro was released the same day as per the Attorney General's Office.  The assistant AG handling the case at the time was Leonardo Rapadas.

Despite the arrests, the court's records show that they never resulted in any cases being filed against Castro at the court.

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