Polyamorous throuple enters no contest plea for physically, sexually abusing children in their home
04/20/2023 2:46 pm PDT
BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (TCD) -- A 41-year-old man and his two partners reached a plea deal this week on charges related to the physical and sexual abuse of multiple children in their home.
On Jan. 26, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office and social workers from the Butte County Children’s Services Division responded to allegations of child abuse at a school, according to Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey. As a result of the investigation, five children between the ages of 4 and 16 were taken into protective custody.
Multiple interviews and searches at a home on Colter Way in Magalia revealed numerous incidents of sexual abuse and "extreme levels of physical abuse" at the hands of Robert Chavez, according to Ramsey.
Ramsey described the abuse committed by Chavez as "truly horrific" and "easily one of the worst cases his office had seen in some time."
Chavez was reportedly in a long-term polyamorous relationship with the children’s mothers, Amanda Johnson, 38, and Kelsey Cabrera, 35. Ramsey said they all lived together in the Colter Way home.
Investigators discovered that Chavez sexually abused some of the children and physically abused all of them for over a year. Ramsey remarked that the abuse was so frequent that it was "impossible to fully comprehend the extent of what the children endured."
Investigators were told by one child that Chavez shot them with BB guns and used paddles to beat and whip them, and he also punched and kicked them. The child further revealed that Chavez took "pleasure in torturing a young boy in the home," inflicting extensive bruising and beating him to the point where he could not stand.
Ramsey said Chavez "burned a young girl with cigarettes to her face" and would "threaten to harm the children if they ever disclosed any of the abuse."
As part of the investigation, officials also interviewed Chavez’s former girlfriend and discovered Chavez "strangled her during an argument and held a hot curling iron to an intimate part of her body," causing permanent scarring.
On Jan. 27, investigators served a search warrant at the Colter Way home and found Chavez hiding in the attic of the garage. Following an extended standoff, Chavez was taken into custody with the assistance of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office and Cal Fire, Ramsey said.
Chavez was arraigned on Jan. 31 on multiple charges, including sexual and physical abuse of minors, as well as dissuading witnesses, according to Ramsey. Additional charges were added for child pornography, torture, and sex charges.
Several days later, Cabrera and Johnson were each arraigned on a count of dissuading witnesses and three counts of felony child abuse for failure to protect the children, Ramsey said.
Ramsey announced April 19 that Chavez pleaded no contest to multiple counts of rape and molest, as well as one count of torture against one of the male children. Chavez also admitted to one count of mayhem for the separate case involving his ex-girlfriend. He faces 80 years to life in state prison.
Chavez’s attorney reportedly requested that Chavez be released from jail pending sentencing due to "difficulties" with other inmates, but the request was denied. He will be sentenced May 17.
Chavez’s partners, Johnson and Cabrera, pleaded no contest to four counts of felony child abuse and one count of dissuading witnesses, and they each face up to 10 years and eight months in state prison, Ramsey said. Cabrera and Johnson are set to be sentenced on May 24.
All defendants remain held in the Butte County Jail without bail.
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