10-year-old bisexual boy was ‘beaten, locked up and starved’ before dying
A 10-year-old boy has died of abuse just weeks after coming out as bisexual.
Anthony Avalos, who suffered head injuries and cigarette burns all over his body, told the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Families before his death that he had been beaten, locked up and left unfed.
Also in California, in February, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez pleaded guilty to the murder of her eight-year-old son Gabriel, who she tortured to death because her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, thought Gabriel was gay.
Anthony was also forced to take part in fights with other children, authorities have reported.
A criminal investigation is ongoing into the child’s death, which was likely down to abuse, according to the Associated Press.
No charges have been filed against his mother, Heather Barron, or her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva.
Barron has said that her son’s death was down to an accidental fall, but Los Angeles County Department of Children and Families (DFCS) director Bobby Cagle cast doubt on this story.
In an interview with KCTV, Cagle explained: He had a severe head injury consisting of a brain bleed, plus bruises and abrasions all about his body.
“All that indicates for me that that’s non-accidental.”
Brandon Nichols, deputy director of the DFCS, told CBS Los Angeles that Anthony said “he liked boys and girls” but did not reveal any more details.
The agency, which said it would investigate whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was a factor in Anthony’s death, has reported that from 2013 onwards, it got 13 referrals about the child.
Anthony was even removed from his home for several months and only returned after his relatives received counselling.
There were two allegations of sexual abuse made when Anthony was four years old, the agency added, but the case was closed after authorities decided that his mother was taking good care of him.
Another referral involving Anthony and alleging general neglect was received in April 2016, but was found to be unfounded or inconclusive, and was closed after a month.
Yesterday (June 26), Judge Maria Lamb at Reading Crown Court sentenced a father and step-mother who forced their son to perform sexual acts with them in order to ‘stop him from becoming gay.’
The step-mother received a nine-year prison sentence, while the father was handed six years in prison.
During the trial, the court heard how from when the boy was 11, the couple performed various sexual acts on him, including oral sex and touching his genitals, and made him “suck on the step-mother’s nipples.”
The case bore horrible similarities to one in March in the US, in which it was found that a man had ordered his girlfriend to rape his 11-year-old autistic son because he thought the child was gay.