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Police: Man arrested after beating wife repeatedly in front of kids


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SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man who police say held his wife hostage for a week and repeatedly beat her, sometimes in front of their children, has been arrested and charged.

On Dec. 26, Deysy Beltran told police she got into a fight with Carlos Ortiz, 32, in their bedroom, and Ortiz began punching and kicking her. He then brought their 11- and 9-year-old children into the room and "made them watch as he beat their mother," according to the charges. One of the children later told police that Ortiz would "come and get us so we can watch him hit her. Sometimes he laughs," the charges state.

Beltran was beaten until she was knocked unconscious, police said. Ortiz, however, shook her and told her not to fall asleep. She told him she needed to go to the hospital, but Ortiz declined, the charges state.

From Dec. 26, 2012 until Jan. 2, 2013, Ortiz did not allow Beltran to leave the house and "followed her everywhere," according to court documents.

The only exception was on Dec. 30 when Ortiz became ill and demanded that Beltran drive him to the hospital. He beat her along the way while their children watched from the back seat, according to charges. Beltran eventually pulled to the side of the road, got out and walked away. Ortiz initially drove off, but then came back and allegedly dragged Beltran back into the car.

On Jan. 2, Ortiz fell asleep and Beltran ran to her brother's house for help.

Ortiz, was charged in 3rd District Court Thursday with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; aggravated assault, a second-degree felony; two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony; and damage to a phone, a class A misdemeanor.

"People when they get into situation like this there is that hope that it is going to get better but usually it's going to get worse," said Garry Keller, of the South Salt Lake Police Department. "So if it starts people need to seek out help immediately."

Kay Card, the executive director of Safe Harbor Woman's Crisis Center, said there is a common thread — a series of red flags — in cases of domestic abuse.

"Wanting to know where you are at every minute, wanting you to call when you get to the store, not wanting you to have time with your family or friends," she said, naming a few.

She said shelters like Safe Harbor can help women identify those red flags in their relationships and take action. But those shelters are at risk.

Wednesday, the Senate failed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which was established to protect female victims of domestic violence.

Now Utah's $1 million portion of a $1 billion budget is gone.

"It helps cover case worker expenses, the roofs over our heads, the clothing, the medication, all the assistance they need when they come to a shelter and try to start their lives over," Card said.

This shelter and others throughout the state, will now have to look elsewhere for much needed financial support.

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Pat Reavy
    Ashley Kewish

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