SALT LAKE CITY -- Prosecutors filed attempted murder and child abuse charges Tuesday against a West Valley City woman accused of abusing her 7-year-old daughter who is now in a coma. Charging documents reveal disturbing new details about the alleged abuse.
Emperatriz Meza-Reyna told prosecutors she hits her daughter for no reason and is glad she was arrested because she was afraid she may kill the child.
Charging documents reveal the 21-year-old mother would strangle the little girl and, one time, used so much force the child wet herself.
Police arrested Meza-Reyna on July 22 after she took her daughter to the hospital with serious head injuries. She told doctors her daughter fell down the stairs. But police say the child was either hit with a hard object or slammed into a wall.
On Monday, KSL spoke to the woman who rents her basement to the family. She did not want to be identified but said there were no signs of abuse. She said, "Honestly, I can say that I've never seen the mother, or anyone else that lived in this basement, do anything to her, because if they had and I knew about it, I would have told."
Deputies arrested Meza-Reyna in January of last year. Prosecutors say at that time the 7-year old girl told a doctor and police her mother bit her and hit her with a belt and black cable.
She said scars on her right shoulder were caused by her mother's fingernails and her mother choked her with her hands.
Meza-Reyna pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and got a suspended prison sentence and 36 months probation.
Prosecutors say the state took custody of Meza-Reyna's three children. They were returned to their mother on April 30.
Doctors told prosecutors the girl's injury was life-threatening, and if she survived, she would likely have permanent brain damage.