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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man awaiting trial for child abuse now suspected of child rape

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 12, 2017

Brandon Oquendo, 22, wearing a yellow jail shirt, makes his first appearance in Spokane County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree child assault Monday afternoon. (Chad Sokol / The Spokesman-Review)
Brandon Oquendo, 22, wearing a yellow jail shirt, makes his first appearance in Spokane County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree child assault Monday afternoon. (Chad Sokol / The Spokesman-Review)

A man accused of beating his girlfriend’s daughter because the child interrupted him while he played video games is now being investigated for child rape.

Brandon Oquendo, 22, was charged on Nov. 6 with first degree assault of a child. Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies say he’s responsible for beating the 21-month-old girl several times, including striking her so hard in the head and chest that she suffered a collapsed lung and bleeding in the brain.

Deputies also suspect Oquendo of raping the girl. In a search warrant filed in Spokane Superior Court Monday, forensic scientists at the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory found evidence of sexual assault. Detectives are seeking permission to test Oquendo’s DNA.

Oquendo was the primary caregiver for the girl while her mother was at work, according to court documents. On Nov. 5, Oquendo called his girlfriend at her job, saying the child was having a seizure. Upon arriving at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, nurses immediately noted the child’s injuries were consistent with abuse.

During an interview with deputies at the hospital, Oquendo admitted to hitting the girl in the past, according to court documents. He said be believed the majority of the bruises were from rough housing with his young son who isn’t related to the girl.

Oquendo has not been charged with rape.

His trial for child assault is scheduled for Jan. 8.

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