Central Texan gets prison in child abuse case involving hungry girl found eating cat food at neighbor’s house

Several victims, all girls under 9, subjected to physical and psychological abuse
Toni Marie Martin, 32, of Cameron, Texas
Toni Marie Martin, 32, of Cameron, Texas(KWTX Photo)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 3:13 PM CST
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CAMERON, Texas (KWTX) - District Judge John W. Youngblood sentenced Toni Marie Martin, 32, of Cameron, to 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence for a third degree felony conviction on a charge of continuous violence against the family.

Prosecutors said the case started when a child was spotted in a next-door neighbor’s home “so hungry she was eating cat food.”

An investigation was immediately launched into the treatment of several children at Martin’s home, all girls under nine years old.

“The investigation (revealed) that the girls were routinely underfed,” prosecutors said, adding the girls were also “physically and psychologically abused.”

Prosecutors said some of the abuse included duct taping the girls to their bed at night, locking the girls in a shed for extended periods of time, forcing the girls to physically fight each other for sport, encouraging a dog to bite the girls, and feeding the girls “slop” that was made in a blender.

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) immediately removed the children from the home.

“The children are now placed in a safe, stable home,” prosecutors said.