ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A judge gave a big break to the mother of two young girls who were found starving, beaten and living in a bathtub.
Roberta Marquez-Chavez was sentenced Wednesday morning to five years in prison; she faced more than 18.
The judge read off the charges and what Marquez-Chavez faced and then suspended most of the sentence.
Marquez-Chavez pleaded guilty in October to child abuse charges.
On Christmas Eve 2011, police arrested her for child abuse and kidnapping. A neighbor called police after seeing the two young kids – ages 3 and 5 at the time – naked and starving in their bathtub.
APD officials said the two girls had 20 broken bones between them, including a broken back and fractured skull.
Marquez-Chavez still insists it was her boyfriend Jesus Acosta-Contreras who abused the girls.
She was also convicted of failing to report child abuse.
The Children, Youth and Families Department took custody of the kids after her arrest. Marquez-Chavez is not allowed to have any contact with them.
Prosecutors say the girls are still very traumatized by what happened.
Acosta-Contreras is still on the loose. Police suspect he’s hiding in Mexico.