In Texas, police have arrested the alleged rapist for the 14-year-old girl who was raped and beaten to induce abortion by a member of her own family. Breitbart News reports that Robert Joseph Cayald (pictured) has been charged with aggravated assault of a minor and is being held on $25,000 bond.
As LifeNews previously reported, in 2013, a girl was beating for six grueling hours after her family realized she was pregnant. According to the Dallas Police Department, she said she initially didn’t tell anyone about the rape because she was embarrassed.
The attackers, Sharon Jones, Cecile McDonald and Lonnell McDonald are currently in police custody and their bail is set at $150,000. Prior to the beating, Sharon tried to induce abortion by first giving the girl Plan B emergency contraception, multiple does of birth control and cinnamon tablets.
However, when that didn’t work Cecilia held the girl down while Lonnell sat on the girl’s stomach, repeatedly pounced on her abdomen and kicked her multiple times. Apparently Lonnell laughed as he beat her and Cecile told the girl, “You ain’t about to get my kids taken away from me.”
Then, another member of the family, Cedric Jones, walked in on the attack and Lonnell told him “he had already been kicking the “s**t out of the b***h.” Unbelievably, Cedric agreed to dispose of the baby’s body after the miscarriage when Lonnell offered him $25 to “take care of it.” Originally, the family tried to burn the child’s body on a charcoal grill but when that was unsuccessful, Cedric threw the remains away in a plastic bag. The child’s body has yet to be found.
Now police are saying that the attackers are being charged with engaging in organized criminal activity so that they may avoid charging them with only aggravated assault. Unfortunately, Dallas lawyer and former prosecutor, Toby Shook, said that this charge might not stick since the attack was a one-time event rather than something that occurred repeatedly.
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The Deputy Chief involved in the case, Gil Garza, said the following about the incident: “We want to commend the victim for her bravery for coming forward to report this unbelievable crime.” Additionally, neighbors of the family have shared their disbelief about the situation.
Keshanna Henry, 26, said she went to Lake Highlands High School with Cecila McDonald and they had been best friends at one point. She also knew the Jones family. “They was cool,” she said. “I never thought they’d do something like that.”
But Henry and other neighbors said there was something off with Cayald, whom they called creepy.
Of the four charged, only Lonnell McDonald had a criminal history. He pleaded guilty to a 2008 misdemeanor theft charge. Henry, who was playing with her kids in her front yard Wednesday afternoon, said she was completely stunned by the news because McDonald was “a good mom.”
“The kids were constantly in the backyard playing,” she said. “They always had something. If it was a party from Halloween to just the kids outside playing, there was always something over there.”
Henry’s grandmother, Arelia Henry, 58, said Sharon Jones often gave the kids popsicles and treated them well. “The kids were always clean. Always,” Arelia Henry said. “They never looked like they was hungry or nothing. … That’s why it’s hard to believe, because she always took care of kids.”
Neighbor Irvin Young, 57, said he never knew the family, but said the attack was “too close to home.” He said he is glad the family was caught and hopes the charges stick. “Getting them and making it stick is two different things,” he said.
Although it is currently unknown what the alleged assailants will be officially charged with, incidents like this highlight the importance of laws like the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which hold criminals accountable when they kill or injure unborn children in criminal attacks.
Thankfully, under Texas’ 2003 Prenatal Protection Act, the protections of the entire criminal code extend to “an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.” This means that prosecutors in Texas can bring murder charges against criminals when they kill an unborn child in a violent attack against their mother.
In a separate incident, in 2014, 17-year-old Ryan Matthews killed his girlfriend and her unborn baby after finding out she was pregnant. The girl, Arrjiana Hill, was only 16-years-old and news reports reveal that she was killed because Matthews didn’t want a baby to interrupt his life’s education and career. Now Matthews is being charged as an adult and could face 40 years in prison if convicted.
Additionally, in 2012, a Texas man was charged with capital murder after he killed his unborn baby by attacking his girlfriend. He was told that he could face the death penalty since Texas law provides that if a murder is committed in the course of committing another felony, it automatically becomes a capital case.