PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Hillsboro woman has been sentenced to more than 12 years behind bars for torturing and abusing 3 children.
Merlinda M. Avalos pleaded guilty in January to 6 counts of 1st-degree criminal mistreatment, according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
Avalos is related to the 3 children involved in the case. The abuse first came to light in April of 2018 after one of the children told a school counselor.
Authorities found 3 children ages 9, 10 and 12 years old had been continuously abused by Avalos, who was caring for them at the time. Avalos would beat them and deprive them of sleep to punish them, officials said. She also fed them small amounts of food and made them urinate in jugs rather than use a bathroom.
The DA’s office said a school counselor fought back tears in court as she described the children coming to school wearing dirty clothes.
Avalos was sentenced on Wednesday to 151 months in prison and must also pay more than $26,000 in restitution and compensatory fines to the victims. When she is eventually released, she is barred from having any contact with minors other than her own son.