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Failures cited in child abuse on Utah reservation

A member of the Northern Ute Tribe is scheduled to go to trial for abusing her two young grandsons in what is being called a failure of the child welfare system.

Charlissa Sireech, 45, obtained custody of Jose, Emilio and Mona Rodriguez. The siblings are the children of Sireech's daughter and are of Ute and Mexican ancestry.

Sireech subjected the boys to sever physical abuse, authorities say. Jose, 4, was beaten so bad that he went into a coma. He suffered brain injuries and can only get around in a wheelchair with assistance.

The children had previously been in the custody of their paternal grandparents in California. But officials there said they had to be put in a tribal home under the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Northern Ute Tribe then placed the kids in Sireech's care despite a history of child endangerment and alcohol abuse.

Get the Story:
The abuse of Jose Rodriguez: The painful truth (The Salt Lake Tribune 3/20)

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Man pleads guilty for failing to stop child abuse (11/23)
Utah tribe to investigate placement of children (10/11)
Utah grandmother jailed for abusing grandsons (09/13)