POMONA — A Hacienda Heights woman accused of severely beating her illiterate, 14-year-old sister and confining her in a garage has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Pomona Superior Court.
Suzanna Perez, 32, was arrested in February after neighbors complained to police about Perez's alleged abuse of her sister, Marta Martinez.
The girl confirmed the reports through an interpreter in a March Municipal Court hearing, at which Deputy Dist. Atty. Patricia Shrader showed photographs of scars on the girl's back. Shrader said the scars were caused by whippings with an electrical extension cord, and he had the girl show the court her swollen and disfigured ears.
Perez's attorney, Fred de la Pena, said the woman has denied some of the girl's allegations. He said Perez maintains that her sister had led an undisciplined life in Mexico and that she punished the girl on occasion, including once for allegedly stealing a purse. Perez denies that she forced the girl to live in the garage or that she beat her severely, De la Pena said.
Court records show that the Martinez girl came to the United States from Mexico five years ago after her mother died. She has been living in a juvenile facility in Rosemead since her sister's arrest.