SAN ANTONIO – A civilian at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston was arrested Wednesday for nearly pulling off her 6-year-old son’s genitals because she was angry with him, and then using superglue to try to repair them, court records said.
The FBI charged Jennifer Marie Vargas, 34, with assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction resulting in serious bodily injury. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
A criminal complaint affidavit said the child’s father, who is enlisted in the Army, returned to his home from work Sept. 27 and found his son crying in an upstairs bedroom.
The father saw bloody tissue in the boy’s underwear and a severe injury to his scrotum, and took him to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, the affidavit said.
There, he was found to have a laceration to his scrotum that was 4 centimeters long and he had bruising to his penis area, the affidavit said.
“Due to the child’s extreme physical pain, the medical staff had to administer medication,” the affidavit said. “The child was taken into surgery to repair the damage to his scrotum.”
The child is recovering from the surgery and remains in his father’s custody.
Vargas, the affidavit said, admitted to agents that while angry with the boy she grabbed him by the scrotum and pulled him to her as hard as she could, “thereby ripping his ‘sack’ and causing a laceration.”
Vargas told agents she cleaned the wound with alcohol and then tried to fix it with superglue, the affidavit said.
“She applied superglue to the (boy’s) scrotum until the bleeding stopped, stuffed his underwear with paper towels, and then told him to go to bed,” the affidavit said. “Vargas did not seek any type of medical treatment for the child.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Mathy ordered Vargas detained without bond pending a bail hearing Monday, where prosecutors will argue that she continue to remain jailed.
Vargas was not charged until now because the matter still was under investigation.
Federal investigators said they are looking at previous states where the couple lived to see if there have been any prior interactions with child protection agencies in the past.
The lack of prior CPS involvement sits in contrast another notorious child abuse case that came to light earlier this month.
Police said 9-month-old Michael Rene Sanchez Jr. was found dead at his mother’s Northeast Side home — stiff, cold and tightly wrapped in wet blankets. His mother had been under investigation by CPS for neglectful supervision since before the child was born.
Bexar County had 6,205 confirmed child-abuse cases in 2012 — the highest rate of any county in Texas, including Harris. Of those, 19 involved children who died.