The continuing violence against the defenseless girl was compounded by “vile first-degree sexual abuse” by her half-brother, prosecutor Clark said.
NEW YORK – The mother and teenage half-brother of a 7-year-old girl have been arrested and charged in her agonizing beating and sexual assault death at her Bronx home, prosecutor Darcel Clark said Wednesday.
“She was beaten all over her body and sexually abused before receiving the blow that ended her life,” said the Bronx District Attorney’s Office announcing the arrest of Navasia Jones, 36, and her son, Paul Fine , of 18.
The announcement comes after more than 10 months of the death of little Julissia Batties, in August 2021.
PROSECUTOR GIVES DETAILS OF THE DEATH OF LITTLE JULISSIA
Mother and son gave different versions of what happened to the girl, but prosecutors said there is enough evidence to charge them both with the crime.
Fine said by then that she hit Julissia for taking some sandwiches from the kitchen, but Jones told police the girl had fallen and hit her head on a desk.
The continued violence against the defenseless girl was compounded by the “vile sexual abuse in the first degree” with which her half-brother was accused, prosecutor Clark said.
“Your seven years on Earth for a lifetime of pain, abuse, neglect and cruelty because of the person we’re about to talk about,” Clark told reporters before announcing the charges against Jones and Fine.
“A woman and her teenage son caused the death of their innocent and defenseless 7-year-old daughter, Julissia, at her home in the Bronx. The girl was beaten and sexually abused and denied medical care. This is a sickening and disturbing case of brutality and callousness,” she added.
HISTORY OF PRIOR ALLEGED PHYSICAL ABUSE
Yolanda Davis, the girl’s grandmother, had custody of her for a brief period before the city returned her to her mother just two months before her death.
The city’s child welfare agency also investigated a report of abuse four days before the girl received the fatal beating, filed by a neighbor at Mitchel Houses in Mott Haven who saw her with a black eye, according to The New York Times.
When Julissia was born in 2014, her mother had already lost custody of five other children, including Fine, after signs of physical abuse were found.
As a newborn, Julissia was separated from her mother and her father, Julius Batties, because the child welfare agency found that they were not providing “a minimum degree of care.” That’s when the girl was given to her grandmother, according to the Times.
Jones took mandatory parenting and anger management classes.
As she gradually showed more aptitude as a mother, she regained custody of one of her other children and also sought Julissia back. Although a social worker noted in 2019 that Julissia would get upset whenever a visit to her mother was mentioned, the child welfare system aims to reunite children with her parents.
In April 2020, the grandmother took Julissia to her mother for an extended visit and the child welfare agency decided to make her permanent.
POLICE RECEIVED SEVERAL REPORTS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
By last summer, neighbors said they heard Jones yelling at his children frequently. Police said there were at least nine reports of domestic abuse in the family’s file, although no information was available about the timing or outcome of the incidents.
Julissia died at Lincoln Hospital from extensive trauma to her face and body that she sustained inside the family’s apartment, authorities said.
When police responded to a 911 call Aug. 10 at the family’s Mott Haven apartment in Mitchel Houses, doctors were already scrambling to revive the girl.
Police say Fine sexually assaulted and beat the girl over a two-day period before her death, though the abuse is believed to have continued much longer.
Fine later confessed to the Administration for Children’s Services that he beat her half-sister several times on the day of her death.
WHAT THE AUTOPSY SAID
The forensic doctor determined that the bruises on her body were consistent with the pattern of blows, in addition to the fact that additional injuries were detected on the body of the minor.
The cause of death was determined to be blunt force abdominal trauma.
According to detectives, Jones saw Batties throw up, pass out and hit her head twice, but she didn’t call 911 until three hours later, after a family member urged her to do so.
Fine and Jones were charged with murder, manslaughter and child endangerment.
Additionally, Fine was charged with sexual assault and battery and Jones was charged with failing to exercise control of a minor.