‘I hope you die’: 10-year-old victim in torture case wishes death on stepmother at sentencing


A California woman will spend well over a decade in prison for the horrific torture she meted out to her stepdaughter as well as the abuse of several other children, a judge has ruled.

In October, Mayra Corina Chavez, 33, was found guilty in Orange County on one felony count of torture, two felony counts of child abuse and endangerment, one felony enhancement of causing great bodily injury, and one count of misdemeanor simple assault.

In November, she was given a sentence of nearly 15 years to life in prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The focus of the condemned woman’s cruelty was her 10-year-old stepdaughter. The little girl was tortured to the point that she needed nearly 20 surgeries to try and correct the horrors she suffered.

In August 2022, the helpless child was finally taken to the hospital. She weighed only 50 pounds at the time and was unresponsive. Her father, Domingo Junior Flores, 33, said his girl had hurt herself and then fallen down the stairs. Staff at the children’s hospital suspected and discovered the truth was much worse than that.

In a press release, prosecutors noted the victim had a “broken neck, bone sticking out of an unhealed sore, and bruises from head to toe as a result of months of increasingly humiliating and brutal cruelty.”

During Chavez’s trial, witnesses documented how the 10-year-old was forced to kneel on raw rice and tin cans while zip-tied. On at least one occasion, the girl was plunged face-first into a bathtub full of ice water while zip-tied. Once, Chavez forced her to bite into a habanero pepper that was then rubbed into her eyes and genitals.

“This methodical and diabolical torture of children was normalized in this household to the point these children thought it was their fault that they were being abused,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said after the sentencing. “Our job as parents is to celebrate the joy of childhood and embrace the laughter and the light of our children. The system failed this little girl. The system failed her siblings.”

Mayra Corina Chavez appears in a booking photo.

Mayra Corina Chavez appears in a booking photo from August 2022. (Orange County District Attorney’s Office)

Three other children who lived with Chavez and Flores took the stand during the since-condemned woman’s trial, and, sobbing all the while, described being forced to zip-tie their sister to her bed and watch as the defendant relentlessly tortured her. Chavez was ultimately convicted of abusing one other stepdaughter and two of her biological children.

At Chavez’s sentencing hearing, the gallery was filled with the victim’s family and friends wearing purple — the 10-year-old girl’s favorite color. Some of the jurors who convicted her made the trip as well.

Taking the stand with a glittery purple walker, the girl read from her handwritten victim impact statement.

“I hope you die,” she told her torturer.

The girl’s mother also gave a statement.

She described the panicked and distraught state she was in upon finding her emaciated daughter “skin and bones, bruises and scabs,” laying in a hospital bed and wearing a bloodied neck brace.

“She was the personification of a whisper,” the girl’s mother added, explaining how broken her child’s body was at first.

Since, then, however, the family has taken to healing and rebuilding. The girl’s mother described the process in bittersweet terms.

We sleep in soft beds with fluffy blankets surrounded by more pillows than we can count,” she said. “We take warm baths — not baths filled with ice. We throw bath bombs. We frost cupcakes and have movie nights. We play in our backyard whenever we want to — and sit in the warmth of the sun. We’re making up for lost time. They not only survived; they triumphed.”

Chavez was sentenced to seven years to life in prison on the torture charge, with an additional seven-year sentencing enhancement, she was sentenced to 10 months on the lesser child abuse charges.

Flores is awaiting trial on charges of one felony count of torture, two felony counts of child abuse and endangerment, one misdemeanor count of felony child abuse and endangerment, and one felony enhancement of causing great bodily injury.

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