NIXZMARY BROWN WAS TORTURED, BEATEN, STARVED AND RAPED BEFORE DYING ALONE AND AFRAID – CCA0093 – UPDATED 08.15.2014 ~ NOW BROTHER CHARGED WITH RAPING TWO RELATIVES
NIXZMARY BROWN WAS TORTURED, BEATEN, STARVED AND RAPED BEFORE DYING ALONE AND AFRAID
UPDATE BELOW – 08.15.2014
BROTHER CHARGED WITH RAPING TWO RELATIVES
WARNING – This post contains autopsy photos of Nixzmary Brown.
Nixzmary Brown was 7 years old when she was murdered after years of torture and abuse. Nixzmary was a beautiful little girl that the world seemed to forget. When Nixzmary’s case came to light, it forever changed the way New York City’s Children’s Services was ran, prompting many reforms in the system.
Nixzmary was kept bound, molested and beaten by her stepfather Cesar Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s feelings for little Nixzmary were clear. He called the girl a “troublemaker”, claiming that she stole money and broke her siblings’ toys. He stated that she would steal milk from the baby and cut her sister’s hair. He said that Nixzmary would attack her siblings while they were sleeping, and even went so far as to say that Nixzmary had recently admitted to burning his 6 month old son with a cigarette lighter, and as her punishment he beat the little girl, all the while asking her “How could you do this to a helpless little child?”. Really Rodriguez??? REALLY??? I don’t believe for a second that this little girl burned her baby brother, and yet I am not surprised that this evil man would stoop so low as to accuse an innocent little girl of such horrendous things. Rodriguez said he believed that she needed to be punished for these things he claims she did, punished with brutal beatings.
The final beating that claimed Nixzmary’s life, was over a cup of yogurt and a broken printer. Rodriguez became irate when learning that is printer wasn’t working, one of the other children had mentioned it may have been Nixzmary who broke it. Then he discovered a cup of yogurt was missing. When he asked Santiago who had taken the yogurt, she also blamed Nixzmary. This sent Rodriguez into a murderous rage. On January 10, 2006, Rodriguez beat Nixzmary to death using his fists and a leather belt, which was covered in Nixmary’s DNA. He drug the little girl to the bathroom while stripping her naked and began dowsing the little girl with cold water. Her mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, the one person who was supposed to keep her safe, sat by as Rodriguez slammed Nixzmary’s head into a bathtub and doused her with cold water. Rodriguez then threw the little girl back into her prison of a room and walked away. Nixzmary was unconscious and in respiratory distress for hours before her little body gave out. No one attempted to do anything to help Nixzmary.
Nixzmary spent the last moments of her life crumpled on the bare floor, beaten, alone, terrified, and moaning and groaning as she tried to gasp for air. The last words the little girl was able to utter were “Mommy, mommy, mommy.”, but mommy never came. As a matter of fact, no one even noticed Nixzmary had passed away until 7 hours after her death.
As is often the case, tragically this abuse began long before the night Nixzmary died. The abuse Nixzmary endured is about as horrific as I have ever seen. When police arrived on the scene, they noted that they found a fairly clean and well-kept home. The refrigerator was stocked with healthy foods, and the other children appeared to be in good health. In one room the three older children slept, while the two youngest children slept in the master bedroom with Rodriguez and Santiago. The children’s room was filled with toys and games, clean clothes hanging neatly in the closet, everything you would expect in a typical child’s room.
After seeing this, police noticed a door, with a length of rope tied to its doorknob in the back of the apartment. This room was the “dirty room” as the other children described it. It was in this small, rodent infested room, that Nixmary was kept and tortured.
The room contained dirty mattresses, a broken radiator, an old wooden school chair with a rope still affixed to it which had been used to tie her down, duct tape and a bungee cord which were used to tape Nixzmary’s ankles to the chair, and a litter box, which the little girl was forced to use as a toilet. Pillows and other items were smeared with Nixzmary’s blood. This beautiful little girl was often tied to the chair, she was repeatedly raped and beaten on a daily basis. At the time of her death, this beautiful little angel weighed only 36 pounds, with Rodriguez claiming that she refused to eat. The truth is, when Nixzmary was allowed to eat, she was forced to eat cat food.
It turns out that Rodriguez was more than happy to talk about the abuse he inflicted on Nixzmary. He told authorities that Nixzmary was an especially difficult child, and he was forced to take “special measures” in order to keep her under control. She was punished with slaps to the face, being thrown to the ground, whipped with a leather belt, and locked in the “dirty room” for days on end without food. He stated that Nixzmary began to sneak out of the room at night, so his solution was to put that litter box in her room, and tie the door knob to another doorknob across the hall. When this didn’t work at keeping her in the torture chamber of a room, he began tying her to the chair police found, wrapping duct tape around her little body and using the bungee cords to secure her legs.
Rodriguez admitted to the final beating that claimed Nixzmary’s life and stated that while mercilessly beating the little girl, he told her that ‘This is for your own good.’ You know, I would love to have 15 minutes with this monster to doing things ‘for his own good’. One could argue removing his testicles is for his own good to prevent testicular cancer, right?
Rodriguez continued to talk even after he was placed in jail. In interviews he made even more shocking statements showing his complete disregard for Nixzmary’s life. He stated “I don’t want to say she deserved it, but …”. He also claimed that after a beating, he would hold Nixzmary up to a mirror and urge her that it was easier to just behave. He stated “I would say ‘Talk to yourself, how do you feel about yourself now? Do you really want to live like this?’ and she would reply ‘No’.”
Nixzmary’s funeral was held at St. Mary Church. Her tiny body lay inside a small coffin draped with white and red cloth. Relatives, friends and strangers paid their respects to the little girl that lay covered in a white veil. Reverend Robert O’Neil presided over the ceremony, stating that Nixzmary’s nightmare was finally over. “Nixzmary is now surrounded by love, beyond the touch of evil”, he said as the little girl was laid to rest. The funeral, which should be a time to grieve, and celebrate Nixzmary’s life, turned into a dramatic argument between family members, who so arrogantly and selfishly took the focus off of Nixzmary, and shifted it to their own agendas. This was one day that should have been allowed to focus solely on Nixzmary, and laying her to rest. I can say that having family members from one side, shouting at family members from the other side demanding them to leave and screaming they are not welcome, was hardly laying this beautiful soul to rest peacefully.
Santiago and Rodriguez were both arrested and charged with second degree murder and child endangerment. Once they were arrested the two began to point fingers at each other, each saying the other inflicted the fatal blow. As the investigation began into Nixzmary’s death, there were numerous people who claimed to have reported the abuse, but their calls never resulted in any action which could have saved Nixzmary’s life.
A social worker that also worked at the school Nixzmary attended, Margarita Cotto, has come forward saying she had been rather concerned about Nixzmary’s home life, and had reported her concerns to the ACS. Cotto pleaded with ACS workers to remove Nixzmary from the home, and even went to the apartment herself in desperation to save Nixzmary from the abuse, but was barred from entering by Rodriguez. Nixzmary had been absent from school for 46 days. Cotto did everything she could to bring attention to Nixzmary, and she was shut down every single time she begged for help for the little girl.
During Rodriguez’s trial, Prosecutors showed the jury photos taken of Nixzmary’s body. Her little body was bruised and battered, showing the years of torture Nixzmary suffered through. The defense stated that Rodriguez was a ‘loving family man’ and stated that Nixzmary was a troubled little girl. This next statement makes me want to punch someone in the throat. Schwartz, Rodriguez’s attorney, stated that his client was only guilty of being a ‘strict disciplinarian’ and continued to claim that Santiago was responsible for Nixzmary’s death.
Schwartz being the clear dipshit he is, attempted to use a mug saying “World’s Greatest Dad” as proof that he would never kill Nixzmary. He stated “I believe Nixzmary bought it for him for Father’s Day”. This idiot actually believed that owning a mug was all Rodriguez needed to be cleared of murder. A mug. Yeah, let’s let that little nugget sink in for a moment. Now, the defense took another stance by stating that Rodriguez was never read his Miranda rights, and that his constitutional rights were violated. This grasping at straws was not working for Rodriguez. Prosecutors showed jurors a video confession where Rodriguez is emotionlessly describing all of the abuse he inflicted on Nixzmary.
Alright, so I am sure Schwartz is already on your deplorable human being list, but just in case you need a little more idiocracy to solidify the spot, here’s the final push. Schwartz, in desperation when he realizes his ship has sunk, makes a comment concerning the prosecutor as having possible porn in her home! Yeah, he actually said this in court. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Hall had enough of the crap, and reprimanded Schwartz for the remark.
So what led up to him making this statement, well Schwartz had been complaining that the prosecutors ‘sandbagged’ his defense of Rodriguez using Nixzmary’s backpack and other personal items. (Yeah, I don’t know what to make of that either.). The prosecutor stepped forward and replied that the jury had no desire to see what else was found in the apartment; piles of pornography. Schwartz defended this statement saying that porn is not illegal and it was then that he implied the Prosecutor had porn in her home.
During the trial, Schwartz called a specialist for the ACS, Vanessa Rhoden, to the stand to testify that there was no cause for alarm at the time. He didn’t expect Rhoden to be so truthful about what she actually discovered. Rhoden testified that she reported on December 1, 2005, that she witnessed early signs of abuse in Nixzmary, but was stonewalled by Rodriguez, and not allowed in the apartment to see the little girl. She reported that she tried to make further visits to the apartment but each time was again refused entry to check on the little girl. When Rhoden attempted to question Rodriguez about Nixzmary’s injuries, including lacerations, bruises and welts, he cursed at her and provided no explanation for the injuries. Despite all of this, Rhoden did issue reports that she did not feel Nixzmary and her siblings were in grave danger, and decided to not make an attempt to have the children removed from the home. An attempt that would have saved Nixzmary Brown’s life.
Schwartz then called Rodriguez’s mother-in-law, Maria Gonzalez, to the stand in an effort to reinforce his defense that Santiago was actually the one to murder Nixzmary, and that the little girl was never hit in the head. Gonzalez did testify that her daughter left home at 17 to be with a man, has six more children, and she continued to depend on other men for her welfare. However, she refuted that claims that Nixzmary was a “wild child”. She did testify to the fact that Nixzmary and her siblings lived in fear of Rodriguez.
As the trial concluded, the prosecution took one last opportunity to drive what Rodriguez had done home. The Prosecution again showed the photos of Nixzmary’s battered, lifeless body.
Prosecutor Ama Dwimoh stated that Rodriguez was “nothing short of a murderer” and argued that “There is nothing that 7 year old Nixzmary Brown could ever do to deserve that.” She described how Nixzmary’s “body speaks volumes about the life she was forced to live” while the images of Nixzmary’s body were projected onto screens. Dwimoh went on to say that “each mark, bruise, laceration, contusion, abrasion, ligature mark, tells the story of systematic abuse and torture that she suffered at the hands of this defendant.” The jury was sent to deliberate and returned with a verdict. Cesar Rodriguez was convicted of first degree manslaughter. The judge sentenced him to a term of 26 1/3 to 29 years in prison, 25 years for the first degree manslaughter, and 1 1/3 to 4 years for false imprisonment, the maximum sentence she could impose. Before sentencing, Rodriguez addressed the court saying, “I’m just sorry for causing anybody any emotional pain or distorted memories about the child. I’m just sorry. I loved Nixzmary.” As Rodriguez was led from the court room, a woman shouted out “murderer!”.
Nixzaliz Santiago’s trial came next. In opening statements, Dwimoh stated that Santiago continually allowed Rodriguez to repeatedly beat Nixzmary, stating that Santiago “didn’t protect, didn’t love, didn’t nurture” the little girl. Defense lawyer Sammy Sanchez stated that Santiago didn’t help Nixzmary because she was also a victim of Rodriguez’s. He stated that Santiago couldn’t call police as there was no phone in the home. I can’t help but wonder how the hell these defense attorneys can actually believe that these excuses are valid excuses for the brutal death of a little girl who was defenceless to help herself. I wonder how they are able to fall asleep at night, knowing that they are defending the very monsters that murdered a 7 year old girl. I hope they see Nixzmary’s corpse laying on a cold metal slab every night when they close their eyes.
The next highlight of the trial is sickening and disturbing to say the very least. The defense claimed that Nixzmary was murdered because she caused Santiago to have a miscarriage. Prosecution was quick to refute the statement, telling jurors that Santiago had confided in a psychiatrist the she blamed Rodriguez because of a ‘beating’. The report from November 2005, stated Rodriguez had choked Santiago and thrown her to the floor, and within hours, Santiago miscarried. Here is the sickening part, Santiago actually kept the fetus in a jar in the home, and would show it to others on a regular basis.
During the trial, a Riker’s Island inmate was called to testify after claiming that Santiago was the one who murdered Nixzmary. The inmate, who spent time in prison with Santiago, testified that Santiago had wanted to hurt Nixzmary after she discovered that Rodriguez was forcing the little girl to have oral sex with him. The inmate further testified that “Santiago told me her child was a bad kid and her and her husband killed her.” The inmate stated that Santiago despised her daughter and defended Rodriguez and had said that “her husband was a good man and the child was evil.”, while Santiago referred to Nixzmary as ‘diablo’.
When a neighbor of the family’s, Ulbis Rivera, was called to the stand, she testified that she had placed to call to 911 to report that Nixzmary was unconscious. She recalled how Santiago was calm, and how Santiago had told her that Nixzmary had drowned, despite the fact that the little girl was lying in the middle of the floor, fully clothed and dry. Rivera testified that Santiago was ‘faking’ remorse over her daughter’s death. When questioned as to why she believed Santiago was faking, Rivera replied “Her daughter was on the floor, she was all disfigured, she goes to my house and she calmly tells me the baby drowned. When I go downstairs, and I come across the girl like that, in went through my head ‘She’s calm, the girl’s dead, and she’s acting like nothing ever happened.’ Then when I called 911, she’s howling.” Rivera broke down into tears on the stand as she was shown the photos of Nixzmary’s body. Santiago’s lawyer stated that her client was guilty – guilty of failing to realize that Nixzmary was dying from Rodriguez’s beatings. She asked the jury to convict Santiago of criminally negligent homicide, which would carry a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison.
The next claim she made is disgusting and completely callous while defending Santiago’s knowledge, or lack thereof, the beatings that were taking place. She stated that Santiago did not know the fatal beating was occurring as Rodriguez had duct taped Nixzmary’s mouth, preventing the little girl from crying out. She says that Santiago couldn’t hear what was happening, and therefore is innocent in her daughter’s death. I won’t even begin to get into all of the reasons that this is not only ridiculous, but also arrogantly stated in the belief that any human being with half a brain would actually believe this to be a good excuse. Nixzaliz Santiago was convicted of manslaughter. She was also convicted of four lesser crimes, assault for binding Nixzmary with a bungee cord, blackening her eye, unlawful imprisonment and endangering her welfare.
Santiago showed zero emotion as the verdict was read. Santiago was sentenced to 43 years in prison, as the judge stated “You may not have delivered the fatal blow, but were it not for your failure to act, Nixzmary Brown would probably not have died from that blow. By your own statements, she gasped for air – moaning – and called for you twice until she died. You, Mrs. Santiago, ignored the desperate calls and left this little 7 year old alone and you did nothing. You had a duty to act. You were the mother.” Much to my disgust, Santiago’s sentence was lowered to 33 years after appeals.
When the case broke in the media, a spotlight was shined on New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, and what was found was not good in any way. ACS had previously received two complaints from a guidance counsellor at Nixzmary’s school, about the family, the second call being placed on December 1, 2004, after Nixzmary showed up at school with a black eye. ACS’s failure to protect the children they are hired to protect resulted in six ACS employees being ‘disciplined’. As time passes, a bright spotlight has begun to shine on the horrific reality of how many children died after being neglected by ACS. Employees are being charged and New York City is finally setting a precedent which all cities need to follow. They are finally saying ENOUGH. They are refusing to look the other way. They are attaching value to the children’s lives that were ripped from this world in such brutal ways, and finally demanding that the people who allowed these things to happen, be held accountable for their actions, and more so their inactions.
In March, 2006, a City panel was created by Mayor Bloomberg in response to Nixzmary’s death, advocated the following changes – “Under the changes, the police for the first time will assign a full-time supervisor, a lieutenant, to child welfare headquarters to be a liaison between the two agencies. Caseworkers will be required to seek entry orders when denied access to the home of a child suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse. And school officials will have more license to alert the authorities when a student has too many unexplained absences.” Other changes being recommended include better communication with school officials regarding absenteeism, a 24-hour hotline, instant-response teams and new training for police personnel regarding sensitivity to abused children.
At this time, there are 19 cases of children being murdered in New York City as a result of ACS negligence where workers are now facing the consequences of their laziness and forging of reports. This doesn’t stop here, ACS remains under investigation as the city looks at all of the cases to determine where these children were failed. They are sending a very clear message to ACS – If you fail to do your job and a child is harmed or murdered as a result, you will be held accountable and face prison time.
If you forge documents, you will be discovered and held accountable for not only failing to save a child’s life, but for showing you understand your actions played a part in this child’s murder, and you are now trying to cover your own ass to avoid being held accountable. It is not OK to continue allowing this to happen, and there is finally something being done about this. This is a huge step forward in bringing about change, and we need to continue to support New York City’s movement, and insist that our cities and hometowns begin to follow suit.
“Nixzmary’s Law” was proposed in January 2006 by New York State senator Joseph Bruno. The law is designed to deter or prevent child abuse related crimes by charging parents connected to the crime of the death of their children with first degree murder, the maximum punishment for which in New York State would be 25 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Since the passing of the law, reports have increased to New York States’ child abuse hotline. According to the article, “Driving the trend is increased public awareness of the hotline . . .”. The article further provided the telephone number of New York’s Central Register of Child Abuse and Mistreatment as 1 (800) 342-3720. Legislation in the form of a Bill sent to New York Governor Paterson has been approved by the state’s Senate to target those individuals who have killed a child, especially in a “cruel and wanton manner”. One of the legislators, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., a Democrat from the Bronx, has stated “We have to send a message that this kind of abuse of children has to stop.”
*****As a side note, we will be following the cases in New York City and publishing more in depth information surrounding the situation. I will provide a link to the article when it is complete.*****
So many things have come about because of Nixzmary’s death, but even the progress we have made in holding ACS officials accountable, is sadly bittersweet. It took the torture and abuse of a beautiful 7 year old little girl for people to demand change and declare enough. And Nixzmary isn’t the first child to lose their life at the hands of a reckless ACS worker who showed a complete disregard for the life of a child. We will never see full justice for Nixzmary, for there is absolutely nothing that we can do here on Earth that will ever equal the pain and terror this little girl suffered before dying cold and alone. I can’t help but think about how sad it is that we needed our children to be beaten brutally, abused and murdered, before we did anything to protect them. How could we have sat by and done nothing, until children began to be murdered before we finally addressed the problem we always knew was there. We owe a debt to the many angels who lost their lives while we turned the other way.
It is time we start paying this debt to these children. It is time that someone stood up and fought for these children, that in life, never knew what it meant to be protected. What Nixzmary endured is horrific. We can’t change that. What we can change is whether or not we allow another child to suffer the same fate. Nixzmary will forever be missed, and the impact she had on this world while we were lucky enough to have her, can never be taken away. She lives in our hearts now, and every day that we get up and fight to do what is right, to protect those who need protection, is a day that we are honoring Nixzmary.
NIXZMARY BROWN’S BROTHER CHARGED WITH RAPING TWO RELATIVES
Nixzmary Brown’s name is once again in the news, but this time it is in relation to her brother, and it is horrifically shocking, just showing how horrendous life was and is for the other children who were living in the home while Nixzmary was being systematically abused and eventually murdered. I can’t begin to imagine the nightmares these children bared witness too, and sadly we are beginning to learn of the nightmares they themselves were thrust into right along with their sister.
The young man, who is now 15, was taken to a juvenile detention center after his adoptive mother told police that he had sexually abused two of his relatives. The young man has been charged with rape and endangering the welfare of a minor, but I can’t imagine they will be pursued given the circumstances. It is not clear as to when the abuse took place (reports are that it was before Nixzmary was murdered), but police do say that the young man claims that his stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez (the very same man that murdered his little sister when the boy himself, was merely 8 years old), forced him to have sex with the relatives. At 8 years old he was being forced to rape his relatives while his stepfather watched. I don’t even know what to say, I am so heartbroken for this young man, and I am LIVID that this monster, Rodriguez, is still breathing the same air as we do. He needs to be eradicated.
A judge, with the agreement of the prosecutor and the boy’s attorney, has moved to boy to an Administration for Children’s Services treatment center where he will receive help. The type of help and treatment he will be receiving has not been released.
The young man and four other children were placed into foster care after Nixzmary was murdered. At the trials for her murder, it was said that the three oldest children (including this young man) very likely witnessed Nixzmary’s torture and were subjected to abuse themselves.
I completely believe that when this young man was forced to commit rape at the age of 8, he was the victim as well. As for the possibility of any abuse occurring in recent years that he may need to be held accountable for, I am not sure. We will continue to follow the case and keep you all updated.
I am just still reeling because I thought this nightmare was closed. How wrong was I.