Mom gets 2 years for horsewhipping, cuffing stepson

Marana boy reported having to skip meals and sleep outside
2013-02-23T00:00:00Z 2013-02-23T10:57:33Z Mom gets 2 years for horsewhipping, cuffing stepsonKim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A Marana woman arrested last year after her 14-year-old stepson accused her of using a horsewhip on him and handcuffing him to a chair was sentenced Friday to two years in jail and seven years' probation by Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell. Fell also ordered Sugey Santos-Cordova to perform 200 hours of community service, said Deputy Pima County Attorney Deborah Lee.

Santos-Cordova and her husband, Federico J. Ballesteros II, were indicted after Ballesteros' 14-year-old son told workers at Marana Middle School he was too scared to go home and an investigation revealed evidence of abuse.

The boy told investigators his stepmother and father often forced him to sleep outside and that his stepmother wouldn't give him breakfast, sometimes forced him to skip dinner and beat him with her hands, a belt and a horsewhip. The boy said he was sometimes handcuffed to his brother's bed or a chair.

The grand jury indicted Ballesteros on one count of custodial interference and three counts of kidnapping. Grand jurors indicted Santos-Cordova on three counts of kidnapping, three counts of child abuse and six counts of furnishing obscene or harmful items to minors.

Ballesteros pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to six months in jail and seven years' probation last June.

Santos-Cordova pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and one count of kidnapping. She could have received between three to 20 years in prison under the terms of her plea agreement.

While in jail, Santos-Cordova will be eligible to participate in a work-furlough program.

On StarNet: Follow the news and events at Pima County's courthouses in Kim Smith's blog, At the Courthouse, at

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