Skip to comments.Girl's condition precarious (11 year old Utah girl beaten and raped)
Posted on 08/20/2002 11:58:39 AM PDT by Utah Girl
MIDVALE An 11-year-old girl remained in critical condition Tuesday following a brutal beating and rape by a man who abducted her from her bedroom and then assaulted her in her back yard.
Dr. Ed Clark says the girl endured the worst beating that he has ever seen.
Jason Olson, Deseret News
Calling it the worst beating he's ever seen, Dr. Ed Clark, medical director for Primary Children's Medical Center, said the girl underwent nine hours of surgery for scalp lacerations and extensive multiple facial fractures and lacerations.
"Every bone in the mid-portion of her face was broken," Clark said.
Clark said it's too early to tell if the girl will have permanent brain damage or even what her outlook is for the next 48 hours. Doctors for now will handle her treatment on an hour-by-hour basis, he said.
Javier Sickler, 28, remained in the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday for investigation of attempted homicide, aggravated rape of a child and aggravated burglary. The Salt Lake District Attorney's Office was scheduled to screen the case Wednesday.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the beating is why. Sickler told police he has periods of "blackouts" and can only remember going to the girl's house to visit her father. He told police the next thing he remembered was being arrested.
Sickler has known the girl's father since high school, Midvale police detective John Salazar said. The two apparently lost touch for several years and then renewed their friendship a few weeks ago, he said.
Sickler showed up at the girl's house about 1 a.m. Monday, entering through an unlocked side door, Salazar said. He first went to the basement and into the room where the girl's brother, 10, was sleeping. The brother told police he pretended to sleep but Sickler talked to him anyway, asking where his father slept, Salazar said.
After Sickler got no reply he apparently left the house. During that time, the frightened young boy went upstairs to sleep in his sister's room. About 30 minutes later the assailant apparently went to the girl's room. This time, the brother really was asleep and the assailant grabbed the young girl, Salazar said.
One of the girl's neighbors heard suspicious noises coming from her back yard at 1:42 a.m. and called police. When officers arrived they found a man in the process of beating and sexually assaulting the girl. The assailant ran, but a K-9 unit caught Sickler a short time later.
Monday morning, police reported the girl was beaten with a hammer. Investigators updated their report later in the day to say they weren't 100 percent sure what instrument was used in the beating. Police were still looking Tuesday for the weapon used in the attack.
The girl was flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children's, where surgery was started about 4:30 a.m. and wasn't completed until about 1:30 p.m. Police said if it hadn't been for the original 911 call by the neighbor, the girl probably would be dead.
A fund has been set up to help with the cost of the girl's medical care. Donations may be made at any Zions Bank.
Sickler was arrested in 1992 and 1993 for retail theft and drug possession. In 1994 he was arrested for investigation of aggravated rape, but prosecutors declined to file charges and sent the case back to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office to collect more evidence.
The kidnapping is similar to the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was also taken from her bedroom early in the morning of June 5. But Salazar said there does not appear to be any connection between the two cases. Nevertheless, he said both the FBI and Salt Lake police were expected to question Sickler as a precaution.
Prayers to Our Lady for her interecession for this poor girl.
Hopefully the marks are from this piece of excrement being kicked forcefully in the head.
Oh well some days nothing goes right.
Abduction Stuns Midvale
Joyce Dahl is known for keeping a watchful eye over her neighborhood. Midvale police often hear from her when something seems wrong. Early Monday, that vigilance may have saved the life of her 11-year-old neighbor.
After Dahl called police at 1:42 a.m. to report hearing strange nighttime noises behind her home, officers captured Javier Sickler, 28, who they say abducted the girl from her home and raped and beat her in her own back yard. Police say Sickler is also the main suspect in the Aug. 3 rape of a woman in a field outside a bar. During interrogation, Sickler told police he had consensual sex with the woman, who claims she was raped.
"We thank [Dahl] for getting involved and calling when she heard something," said Midvale Police Sgt. John Salazar. "It saved the little girl's life."
The child was in critical condition at Primary Children's Medical Center late Monday, recovering from a 9-hour surgery for severe injuries to her face and head. Doctors said every bone in the midportion of the girl's face was fractured.
Sickler, a high school acquaintance of the girl's father, told police he entered the home in the 100 block of East Fourbush Avenue through an unlocked side door while the family slept. He told police he suffers from periodic "blackouts" and does not remember what happened after he entered the home. The father and Sickler recently had rekindled their relationship and had spoken last week.
Dahl's phone call prompted two Midvale police officers to examine her back yard and neighboring yards on foot early Monday. When the officers heard moaning and the sounds of someone being struck in the yard directly behind Dahl's, they scaled a 6-foot fence and focused a bright light on the suspect, who then ran away. One of the officers gave chase on foot, while the other discovered the injured girl and stayed with her, Salazar said.
Police blocked off neighborhood streets and called in a K-9 unit. As Midvale police officer Jared Richardson was responding to the scene with his German shepherd, Vader, he spotted Sickler and told him to halt. When he did not, Vader took him down after three attempts with help from Richardson.
Neighbors in Midvale, many of them with young children, gathered in their yards Monday morning to discuss the crime. The Midvale girl's next-door neighbor, Tammy McCleary, 33, said the abduction only added to concerns she now has about protecting her three children.
"It scares me to death that I could sleep through something so horrible," she said.
Sickler is being held on suspicion of attempted homicide, aggravated rape of a child and aggravated burglary.
He first had gone into the bedroom of the girl's 10-year-old brother, asking the boy where his father slept. Frightened, the boy pretended not to hear Sickler's question, and went into his sister's room to sleep after the suspect left the home, Salazar said.
He returned just over a half hour later, taking the girl from her room as her brother slept. The girl's father was asleep downstairs in the home. The girl, her brother and paternal grandparents slept on the main floor, Salazar said.
Police from Sandy and Layton helped Midvale officers comb the white, single-story home and surrounding area Monday in search of the hammer or blunt weapon used to assault the girl. The girl's father, a painter, ran a small mechanic business out of a building behind the home. The back yard where the assault occurred was overgrown.
"We're not going to let anything slip by us," Salazar said. "She was assaulted to the point we think he was trying to kill her. Right now we don't know a motive -- I think it's a crime of opportunity on his end."
Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said the case caught the attention of investigators still trying to locate Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped in the middle of the night from her Federal Heights home June 5. A flyer with Elizabeth Smart's picture on it was posted to a telephone pole directly outside the Midvale girl's home.
"There are obvious similarities to the Smart kidnapping," Dinse said. "We certainly are interested in talking to this guy and seeing if there is a connection."
Salazar said Midvale investigators could find no connection to the Smart case, but have invited the FBI and Salt Lake City police to interview the suspect. Sickler's only previous criminal conviction was for attempted retail theft and a string of traffic convictions. Although he was arrested on suspicion of rape in 1994, prosecutors declined to prosecute him and no charge was filed.
Upon hearing of the Midvale abduction Monday morning, Elizabeth Smart's father, Ed, called Dahl a hero.
"Our hearts go out to this family," he said. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate the neighbor being alert. I would ask everyone to continue to be aware of those unusual things . . . because that's critical."
In Midvale, McCleary said the Smart kidnapping had already prompted her to closely watch her children. "You think you have things figured out after Elizabeth Smart . . . but with something as horrible as this, what do you say and don't you say to your kids?" she asked.
Although her family has an alarm system, McCleary said she just doesn't feel "completely safe."
Another neighbor, Maureen Pinegar, 43, and her 15-year-old son were sleeping in their back yard just two houses away from the girl's home when they awoke to the sounds of the chase for the suspect.
Pinegar, who is involved in the neighborhood watch in the area, said it is often difficult to hear through the deep back yards on the street.
"We thought we had heard someone talking and some noises, but we just dismissed it," Pinegar said.
Neighbor Jeff Ferguson, 54, who lives down the street and grew up in Midvale, said the crime was unnerving for the whole neighborhood. "This pretty well shakes you," he said.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.