Couple pleads not guilty to torture and assault of 2 children

Crime Watch

UPDATE (2:21 p.m.): Munoz and Bennett pleaded not guilty and were ordered held without bail. They’re due back in court July 2.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man and woman are facing charges including torture and aggravated mayhem in connection with the assault of two children in their home, police said.

Julio Jose Martinez, 35, and Destanee Jayme Kay Bennett, 23, are due in court Friday to be formally arraigned. They face a total of 10 charges, including multiple counts of willful cruelty to a child and assault of a child under 8 resulting in the child becoming comatose or suffering paralysis, according to court records.

Police said the couple are the father and stepmother of the children. They were arrested Wednesday after Child Protective Services received a report of suspected abuse in the home.

Martinez and Bennett are each held on $670,000 bail.

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