Documents filed in Curry County Magistrate Court show 37-year-old Jayme L. Kushman and 29-year-old Jaime Kay Sena were both taken into custody Monday on over 20 counts of suspected child abuse plus obstructing an investigation of child abuse. Authorities said children between the ages of 5 and 14 were living in with Kushman and Sena in a Texico home near the Texas border.
The charges of child abuse come after authorities discovered children in their care in abusive conditions. Sgt. Gerardo Hernandez, criminal investigator with the New Mexico State Police, detailed in an arrest affidavit Monday the conditions in which the children were found – they had been beaten, starved and chained to beds.
Investigators say they uncovered videos of some of the children being chained by the ankles to their beds, allegedly to keep them from taking food from the kitchen when they were hungry.
Police also found filthy conditions in the home including no running water, a toilet backed up with human waste and bedrooms smelling of urine.
Both women were in custody of the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Tuesday. The five children, described as Sena’s children, Kushman’s sister’s children and a foster child, were subjected to wearing alarms and paddlings that left bruises for getting into the refrigerator.
An investigation into the home began July 22, records show. Among a number of things observed was a locked and chained gate inside the door to the home in the 200 block of Curry Road 8.5, plus an unflushed toilet full of urine and feces.
The children were taken to state Children, Youth and Family offices in Clovis and were questioned. That’s where state personnel heard more stories about the children going hungry and how they learned to steal food, the affidavit showed.
According to Sena, her and Kushman are no longer together and she has moved out of the home. When asked by law enforcement how she felt about some of the children being chained to the wall, Sena told investigators she felt it was wrong but understood why it was done so they couldn’t get out.
Press, The Associated. “2 Arrested in Alleged Child Abuse Case in New Mexico.” KOAT, KOAT, 24 Aug. 2022.
The Eastern New Mexico News. “Texico Women Face Numerous Charges of Child Abuse.” The Eastern New Mexico News.