New details about a gristly abortion case in Texas came out in court this week when a 14-year-old rape victim testified about the abuse she and her unborn child endured.
On trial this week is Lonnell McDonald, 28, a Texas man who is accused of stomping and bouncing on the pregnant teen’s stomach and killing her unborn baby in March 2013, according to the Daily Mail. He is charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder and aggravated assault.
The unnamed teen, who is 17 now, said she became pregnant after her brother raped her. When her other relatives found out, she said they beat her pregnant stomach to force her to have an abortion. After the teen delivered her stillborn child, authorities said her relatives took the baby’s body and burned it on a charcoal grill before throwing away the remains in an unknown location.
Three others, Sharon Jones, Cedric Jones Jr. and Cecila McDonald, also face charges related to the incident. The teen’s brother, Robert Cayald, 23, also faces a sexual assault charge for allegedly raping her.
Prior to the beating, Sharon Jones allegedly tried to induce an abortion by giving the young teen Plan B emergency contraception, multiple does of birth control and cinnamon tablets, according to police. Prosecutors said the young teen was repeatedly assaulted between January and March of 2013 when she gave birth to her stillborn child.
On Tuesday, the teen told the court that she did not report the full extent of the abuse right away because she was embarrassed and hoped to forget what had happened. She said she was a virgin when her brother raped her. Police said the teen did report that her brother sexually assaulted her in 2012.
The teen said she did confide in Cecila McDonald and Sharon Jones about the attack, but her female relatives did not report it, according to police.
Here’s more from the report:
… soon after McDonald ‘became very nervous’, worrying Child Protective Services would take away her children if they learned the teen was pregnant and living in the same home as Cayald, an affidavit states.
Cecila McDonald reportedly told the girl: ‘You ain’t about to get my kids taken away from me.’
So Sharon Jones and Cecila McDonald ‘took matters into their own hands’, police said.
The teen said the women searched online how to induce a miscarriage before purchasing several pills and making her take them.
The teen was allegedly given ‘multiple doses’ of birth control pills as well as emergency contraception pills and cinnamon tablets, according to an affidavit.
When the pills failed to abort the baby, they are accused of pinning the girl down on Sharon Jone’s living room floor while Lonnell McDonald ‘repeatedly bounced up and down’ on the girl, as well as kicking her, until her water broke.
The final assault, according to one witness who accompanied the girl to police, lasted six hours, it is said.
Previously, court records said Lonnell laughed while he beat the teen and said at one point that he “had already been kicking the ‘s**t out of the b***h.’”
His trial continues this week. He is pleading not guilty, according to the report.
The teen now lives with a foster family, the report states.
Horrific 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. 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.