CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho woman received a 16-year prison sentence on Thursday for what one prosecutor called the “worst abuse” she has seen in her 11 years on the job.
Judge Christopher Nye handed Esperanza Espinoza, of Canyon County, the sentence with six years to be served before she is eligible for parole. He also issued a no-contact order for 16 years.
The 30-year-old Espinoza was convicted of four felony counts of injury to a child and four misdemeanor counts of injury to a child.
“I know that the actions from my past have led up to this point, and I take full responsibility,” Espinoza said. “Unfortunately, I can’t go back and undo anything that’s already been done, but I can ask for forgiveness, and I can repent for the things I’ve done.”
Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin said it’s one of the most horrific child abuse cases she’s seen, calling it a torture case. She said Espinoza strangled, kicked, bit, stepped on, force-fed and threw the children by their hair while they were in her care.
“I want to apologize to the kids for failing them and hurting them in any kind of way,” Espinoza said.
Espinoza was arrested only after an adult overheard the children talking to each other about the abuse. The children did not initially report it.