Trial proceedings are slated to get under way today for a Riverside woman accused of inflicting severe burns on her 2-year-old son to punish him for soiling his bed.
Christina Lorraine Montes, 29, could face life in prison if convicted of torture, inflicting corporal injury on a child and child endangerment, along with great bodily injury allegations, in the alleged March 2011 assault on her son, identified in court documents only as John Doe.
Montes is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to testimony from her January preliminary hearing, the defendant was living in a motel room with her 2- and 10-year-old sons at the time of the alleged assault.
Her sometime boyfriend, a convicted felon, also stayed at the location periodically, investigators testified.
The injuries on the 2-year-old were discovered by a family member, who told police.
Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham said that child welfare workers took custody of the youngster and had him undergo an examination at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Doctors there found evidence of recent scarring from second- and third-degree burns on the boy’s buttocks, groin, stomach, arms and left thigh, where most of the damage was concentrated, according to testimony.
Montes told investigators that the burns had occurred accidentally.
According to testimony, the defendant indicated she was asleep and was awakened by her 2-year-old crying in the middle of the night because he had wet his bed and had had diarrhea.
Montes told police that she filled a bathtub full of water to wash the toddler, placed him in it and left to replace his bed sheets.
The defendant told investigators that while she was tending to the bed, the child began yelling for her, and she rushed back to find him outside of the tub with red blotches on his skin.
He is now in the care of relatives.