Salinas mothers found guilty of torturing girl

May 17, 2015

deanda 2A Monterey County jury found two Salinas women guilty Friday of torturing, starving, and chaining an 8-year-old girl inside their home. [Monterey Herald]

In March 2014, Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the 8-year-old girl who weighed just 40 pounds and was covered in bruises inside the home of Christian Jessica Deanda, 45, and her girlfriend Eraca Dawn Craig, 32. The girl’s 7-year-old brother and the 4-year-old son of Craig also lived in the home.The women had guardianship of the two older siblings.

The women often kept the girl chained to a wall by a collar on her neck. When the girl would wet herself, the women would have the boys urinate on her and beat her with a belt.

Former Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller said the child abuse case was one of the worst he had ever encountered.

On Friday, the jury of six men and six women found Deanda guilty of 16 counts, including torture, false imprisonment, and child abuse with starvation enhancements. Craig was convicted on six counts, including child abuse.

Deanda is facing life in prison while Craig is facing 11 years of incarceration.


11 years does not seem like enough time to me, but then everyone can’t get life.

What about the boys they used to urinate and beat the young girl. This too is a form of child abuse, so they truly abused two children. I hope the get alot of counseling for the boys so they don’t grow up and repeat this action to others.


That would be three (3) children: the girl and the TWO (2) boys. The older boy and girl are siblings and are with one foster family, the youngest boy is in another foster family now (both new foster families are heterosexual, fyi).

Read the original article in the Monterey Herald that is cited at the top of the article herein. It is much more detailed and disturbing.

Ted Slanders

An absolutely unbelievable accounting of two women that were possessed by Satan! They will certainly pay for their crime in more ways than one because their act upon that poor girl is equal, if not more, looked down upon by their newly founded friends in prison!

My fellow Christians, you can be rest assured that when Jessica Deanda and Eraca Dawn Craig confess their sins to Jesus, He will forgive them and one day we’ll get to see them in Heaven! Won’t this act be enlightening?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

This is what is so wonderful about our faith in Christianity, in that we really don’t have any incentive not to sin because we’re always forgiven. This is one reason many have chosen Christianity over those other Bronze Age belief systems, of which we laugh at their pagan beginnings and existence.



This is one of the most horrific stories we’ve read in a long time.

How horrible does something need to be before you stop mocking and express some genuine sympathy for the victim(s)?

Ted Slanders


Yes, it is unfortunate that the young girl in question was tortured like she was, but she doesn’t need any more placating to her situation from the likes of me. Why do you think I am mocking this horrific situation by bringing forth biblical facts? Blaspheme!


This family was being tracked by CPS, but until they missed an appointment, no one ever checked out their home.

fishing village

I can’t even read this article, but I will add my ‘like’ to those who did. Thank you for your comments, my heart is broken for these children.

Jorge Estrada

This is sicko news, disturbing and should never see ink.


If we don’t read about it (or otherwise learn of it), it will just be easier for the next sicko to think that they can do it. Public exposure is necessary to the extent that we will be less tolerant of this kind of behavior and maybe even learn something about how to stop it.

As bad as this is, I suspect that there will be a LOT more media coverage of it — probably more than is good for the kids involved.


I’m curious how these women had gained guardianship of this 8 year old girl and her 7 year old brother? They weren’t biological children so it would appear that they perhaps a niece and nephew? No doubt they (the guardians) were receiving a government subsidiarity of probably $750 a month for each of these children. I should think that the 8 year old should have been in school or even if home schooled, she would have been required to take state testing each year to confirm that she was in fact being schooled, no? Where did the ball get dropped here? More info would be good if we are to determine how this could happen.

The last thing I want is more gov in our lives and definitely less CPS as they generally do more damage than good to most children apart from cases such as this little girl although they obvious dropped the ball on this one as she fell through the cracks. My question is how and why did she fall through the cracks?


Cindy – I’m in agreement with you! WHERE THE HECK was the intervention from our government? No, I don’t like them nosing into everything in our daily lives HOWEVER, I agree that CPS or our Educational System should have had somesort of way to have intervened. If my kid missed school I got a phone call or a letter stating such (heck the schools didn’t even like you taking your kids out of school for a vacation!). And if they moved from somewhere – where is it that our gov’t can track herds of Dariy cows but NOT children?? I wonder if the adults (I want to call them ANIMALS) were receiving $ for the kids? And if so, WHY wasn’t someone sent to the house to make a “visit”? So, irritating that our gov’t will spend $$ on some of the stupidiest things and yet this child had to suffer this horrific way of life!! Makes me sick and question the CPS system. Yes, I know they’ve probably helped a lot of kids but when one like this falls through the cracks you can help wonder HOW MANY MORE are out there suffering??


It takes time, money, a BIG heart to do that kind of work.

People don’t value social services work. The workers have been dubbed “lazy” and are largely not valued. Their workloads are far larger than than should be, and to track families like this seems so simple…. but it is not. You can have 300 families on a caseload, and you can be on the phone for 5-6 hours in one day just trying to get a current address on a family. Checks don’t get mailed to houses anymore, they are loaded on to cards, so it isn’t like they won’t get paid if Social Services doesn’t have a current address…

Even IF you believe a child is being abused, you have to have TONS of proof. There may very well be a paper trail of CPS reports on this family, and the family just runs or there isn’t enough “proof” to substantiate allegations.

I myself have sent DETAILED reports in to CPS on families, only to have CPS investigate and say they can’t do anything “yet”. This is America, and people have rights. The abuse might start out as a nasty, messy house and mom spanking the kid. It might proceed to a 3 year old running around unattended in the road. It takes time unfortunately to “build a case”, and sadly, the child suffers.

Lastly, the job itself is so traumatizing that some workers cannot or will not stay. This means new CPS workers must constantly be retrained, and new employees miss things. Inexperienced CPS workers WILL miss subtle signs.


These two certainly didn’t miss a meal.

It would seem perhaps one of them was jealous of the little girl simply for being female.

It breaks my heart each and every time I see a child mistreated like this; if society is lucky, this kid can be somewhat rehabilitated and will want to be loved and give love. Most likely she will eat until she throws up, steal food because she isn’t sure when she will eat again and will do this for years to come. She will have a many problems her entire life and feel like and outcast even if she desperately wants to fit in and belong.

Oh, how I sometimes hate that the world is so unfair and unjust. This is the kind of thing that has shaken my faith to its core. It is truly difficult to believe in anything when you are a nurse who believes in goodness and kindness and the golden rule, then you read about this kind of thing, and have actually SEEN things like this with your own eyes.



Please allow me at them. Can’t put in print what I would like to do to them. They both need

so suffer incredible pain and have a long life before their evil pathetic selves become dead.


Treating them with torture merely lowers you to their level. It does not do anything positive for anyone despite millennia of human efforts to use this as “justice.” They need to be eliminated from society and the gene pool, coldly and efficiently.

I am generally against the death penalty due to the too frequent imperfections in our legal system. However, if it is shown that the accusations against these two are even close to accurate, I would be willing to make an exception. In any event, life in prison with no possibility of parole should be the minimum sentence for both (again assuming that the charges are close to the truth.)


Can’t we just chain them to a wall with food just out of reach, in a male prison yard, so that these “people” can experience the inhuman treatment that they gave to that little girl? A bullet in the head would be nice, but much nicer than these people, and I use the term loosely, deserve.