3-year-old and 4-year-old bound with zip ties and starved by mom’s boyfriend

HOUSTON, TX – A Houston man has received two life sentences for the horrific abuse of his girlfriend’s young children, which included torture, starvation, and severe beatings. District Judge Beverly D. Armstrong handed down the sentence to 45-year-old Victor Prado on Monday.

In a heart-wrenching case that emerged from Harris County, Prado was convicted on charges of injury to a child, causing serious bodily injury. The torment inflicted on the toddlers was uncovered when both children, a 3-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother, were taken to Texas Children’s Hospital with alarming injuries indicative of prolonged abuse.

Expressing the gravity of the crimes, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “This man intentionally tortured two little kids.” Ogg emphasized society’s duty to protect its youth, branding them as “our most valuable resource and our most vulnerable victims.”

A detailed investigation revealed the children had been restrained using zip ties, leaving them with significant ligature marks. The 4-year-old boy was discovered in an emaciated state, weighing a mere 32 pounds and suffering from permanent brain tissue loss. Both children were found to have multiple fractures and injuries consistent with severe physical trauma.

Prosecutors highlighted the rare severity of the fractures, likening them to those typically sustained in vehicular accidents. The children, who were also found malnourished, reportedly showed signs of having been confined in a lying position for extended periods.

Testimony from the property manager of the commercial building where Prado and the children resided without appropriate living facilities contributed to his conviction. The manager had alerted authorities to the children’s plight after hearing their cries and observing their distressing physical state, prompting a complaint to Child Protective Services.

Assistant District Attorney Ashlea Sheridan reflected on the impact of Prado’s actions, stating, “At a time in their lives when they should have been shown love and affection, these two children were shown violence and fear—they’ve lost their innocence.”

Prado will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 30 years of his sentences, which have been set to run concurrently.