A 53-year-old Farmington foster mom is facing multiple charges for allegedly abusing her foster child.
Farmington Police Department reported that Hope Graciano is allegedly beating an 11-year-old foster child with a bed frame because he didn’t get a math question right. The boy was left with a skull fracture, and two black eyes so swollen he couldn’t even see out of them.
Police detectives arrested Graciano on Monday and booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
The abuse was discovered when Graciano brought an 11-year-old foster child to the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque on September 25. The injuries were considered serious, according to police reports and the child mouthed to an officer, “Help me.”
Though Graciano claims the boy got the injuries while practicing soccer in the front yard, saying he hit his head on a railroad tie, the investigation shows the abuse has been ongoing as police found evidence the boy was peeing in boxes in his room because he was locked inside.
Additionally, the boy says when his little sister was in Graciano’s care she pooped her pants and Graciano made her eat it. She then forcedly fed the boy with jalapenos and when he threw them up, she made him eat his vomit.
Investigators said they also found evidence of starvation.
CYFD says Graciano was hired as a foster parent by a contracted agency. The company says Graciano had been a foster parent for two years.
They couldn’t say how many children she fostered because of child privacy laws but say her license has been revoked and they are conducting an internal investigation.
Search warrants were executed for Graciano’s residence, and detectives, along with personnel from New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, interviewed the other children who had been placed in Graciano’s care.
But Graciano is out of jail after posting bond.
Farmington Captain Taft Tracy said the foster children were removed from the home.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Chris Blea at 505-599-1005 or San Juan County Crime Stoppers tip line at 505-334-8477.