WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita Falls man is accused of hitting and whipping a 12-year-old boy and exposing himself to an 11-year-old girl in two separate incidents over the span of two days.
Aurelio Maranjo Saldana, 58, of Wichita Falls, faces two felony charges from the two separate incidents, including injury to a child and indecency with a child by exposure.
Saldana was booked into the Wichita County Jail on Monday, January 30, 2023, where he remains on bonds totaling $35,000.
According to the arrest affidavits for the two charges against Saldana, the Wichita Falls Police Department was contacted for each offense on January 7, 2023, though the incidents did not occur on the same day.
Alleged incident involving injury to child
Police said officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of Giddings Street on January 7, 2023, at about 5:30 p.m. for a possible assault. When they arrived on the scene, they made contact with the victim, who they said was a 12-year-old male.
According to authorities, the victim told police he and several other juveniles were going to Wichita Falls High School to play, and as they walked by a residence on Giddings Street, a male subject came out and claimed the victim and the other juveniles were throwing rocks at his window.
Authorities said the victim told police the subject, later identified as Saldana, grabbed him by the arm, slapped him on the face, and struck him with a whip several times. Officers noted they observed redness to the victim’s face, wrist, and thigh.
Police said when they spoke to Saldana, he admitted to hitting the victim because “he was being disrespectful”. The officers seized the whip as evidence, and a WFPD Crime Scene Technician was called to the scene to photograph the victim’s injuries.
Officers said they reviewed the photos taken as evidence and observed redness on the victim’s left cheek in the photos. They also observed a linear red mark across the victim’s right forearm and a large, swollen injury to the back of his left upper thigh.
Police said the injury on the victim’s thigh was linear with edges having a distinct outline, indicating a traumatic injury.
According to the affidavit, police interviewed a witness to the incident on January 24, 2023. The witness told police she drove to the area of 1800 Giddings Street and observed Saldana using a leather whip to whip the victim in the back of his leg. She said she took photos of the suspect while she was at the scene.
Police reviewed the photos taken by the witness, which showed Saldana in the area near the intersection of Giddings Street and Avenue I, holding what appeared to be a leather whip in his right hand.
Police said they later spoke with the victim’s mother, who said she and her children are familiar with Saldana because they previously lived next to him on Giddings Street, and that when they returned to Wichita Falls, they stayed with Saldana for about a week.
The victim’s mother told police that she’d never given Saldana permission to discipline the victim or any of her other children.
Alleged incident involving indecency with child
In a separate incident, police responded to a call for service on January 7, 2023, where officers were advised by the reporting party that Saldana exposed himself to an 11-year-old female and that the victim was able to record Saldana.
Police said a forensic interview was conducted with the victim at Patsy’s House Children’s Advocacy Center on January 26, 2023. During the interview, the victim disclosed she’d previously lived next door to Saldana.
According to the affidavit, the victim said she’d been asleep in her room when she was awoken by Saldana pulling her shorts down. She said Saldana left the room and she later questioned him about what he was doing.
The victim said Saldana, who she identified by his nickname, “BeBe”, would look in her bedroom window after she showered and was getting dressed, and that he would text her nude pictures of himself.
Police said the victim told the interviewer that Saldana later kept calling her into his room. She said when she entered Saldana’s room, he exposed himself. She said when she tried to leave, Saldana attempted to grab her arm to try and make her stay.
The victim said after she was able to leave Saldana’s room, she took her mother’s cell phone and re-entered Saldana’s room. She said he was still exposed, so she recorded him with her mother’s cell phone.
Police said they reviewed the video captured on the victim’s mother’s cell phone, which was created on January 5, 2023, at 11:23 p.m. according to the metadata on the video.
According to the affidavit, police said they observed Saldana in the video exposing himself. They said Saldana can be heard in the video asking, “what are you looking for”, and a young female voice replying, “nothing” shortly before the recording ends.
Saldana’s prior arrest history
A records check on Saldana shows seven arrests on nine charges since 1993, with the most recent crime before the two reported on January 7, 2023, occurring in 2004.
Saldana was arrested twice in 2004 for driving while intoxicated, once in August and once in November. He was also arrested twice in 1993, for burglary of a habitation in May and violating a protective order in September.
Saldana has no prior arrests or convictions for assault or sex-related offenses.
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