Woman Named In New Indictments For Injury To A Child

Diamond Leshawn Pender (left) and Jacquel Torran O'Neal (Jail photos)

COPPERAS COVE (June 28, 2013)—A local woman was named in a new three-count indictment charging her with injury to a child in connection with an incident during which police say she stood by and watched while her boyfriend abused her 7-month-old child.

Diamond Leshawn Pender, 18, already was named in a one-count indictment on the same charge, court records showed.

The new indictments revolve around an incident in August 2012 during which investigators say Pender’s boyfriend, Jacquel Torran O'Neal, sexually abused Pender’s 7-month-old daughter

On Aug. 4, 2012, Copperas Cove police were sent to an address in the 300 block of Pinto Drive in response to a report that an infant was bleeding from her vaginal area and that her mother "knew about the bleeding, but did not take the child to the hospital because she did not want to get the authorities involved," according to an arrest warrant.

Both Pender and O’Neal were arrested on Aug. 9, 2012 and booked into the Coryell County Jail, Pender on bonds totaling $500,000 and O'Neal on bonds totaling $1 million.

Both showed still in custody Friday morning, charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury.

The little girl was taken to Scott & White Hospital in Temple where an examination revealed severe vaginal bruising and tearing that required surgical repair, the affidavits say.

Doctors also found numerous bruises, a burn on the girl's abdomen, factures of both legs and three broken ribs, the affidavits say.

Pender told an investigator she wasn't aware of the injuries and didn't know how they occurred, the affidavits say.

O'Neal, 19, told the investigator he used his finger to enter the infant's vagina "to clean it out" while changing a diaper on Aug. 2, which was the likely cause of the bleeding, and said the burn was most likely caused by a cigarette that he was smoking near the girl, the affidavits say.

He said the infant frequently fell off a bed and said he thought that was the cause of her injuries, the affidavit said.

Two other children who lived in the home were interviewed at the Belton Child Advocacy Center and one, a 10-year-old boy, said he saw O'Neal press on the infant's abdomen several times "until she pooped," the affidavit said.

He also said he saw O'Neal hold the infant by her ankles while she was screaming, hit her in the legs and scratch her with his fingernails, the affidavit said.

He also said Pender was present when the assaults occurred and said that the couple "would frequently argue about it."