Grand Prairie woman accused of setting stepdaughter on fire
A Grand Prairie woman who told police she punished her 5-year-old stepdaughter by lighting part of her face on fire was indicted on an injury to a child charge Monday, according to Dallas County online court records.
Dalia Jimenez, 20, was accused of pouring rubbing alcohol on the child’s face on May 11 and using a lighter to set it on fire, Grand Prairie police said. Although she initially said the girl burned herself by accident when trying to light a candle, she later admitted to intentionally burning her, police said.
The indictment concludes Jimenez “intentionally and knowingly” injured the girl by lighting her on fire.
She’s due back in court on Aug. 14, according to the court trial docket.
Officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services removed the child and a younger sibling from the home on the night of May 13, when police learned of the burns. Both of the victim’s cheeks were burned to just below her jawline, police said, and she suffered small burns on a shoulder.
Police were responding to a call from a concerned resident at their apartment complex. Jimenez told an officer the girl had suffered burns two days earlier, on May 11, and she hadn’t sought medical treatment. The girl said her face only hurt a little bit, police said.
Paramedics evaluated her and determined she didn’t require immediate medical attention. She was treated sometime in the next week at Parkland Memorial Hospital’s burn center in Dallas.
She told a forensic interviewer her stepmother had hit her with a belt on other occasions, police said.
Jimenez only admitted to burning the child, police said, after a detective spent an hour expressing skepticism regarding her dubious claim of a candle-related accident. She was allegedly punishing her stepdaughter for yelling.
The child’s father wasn’t home at the time of the incident, police said, and accepted his wife’s initial explanation at face value.
Jimenez was arrested May 29 and released from jail on bond the next night.
The girl who was burned suffered a broken arm in 2018, and DFPS employees evaluated the incident. Police said there has been no evidence that a crime occurred in that case.