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Infant born to 11-year-old St. Charles rape victim in intensive care

Infant born to 11-year-old St. Charles rape victim in intensive care


ST. CHARLES — A boy born earlier this month in a St. Charles home to an 11-year-old girl is premature and in intensive care, the Post-Dispatch learned Tuesday.

The baby was born Feb. 11 at about 32 weeks, or roughly two months early, according to law enforcement sources who requested anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

By the time the baby reached St. Joseph’s Medical Center at least an hour after his birth, his body temperature had dropped to 90 degrees, court documents said. The placenta and umbilical cord were still attached. The documents don’t explain how the baby’s temperature dropped, but newborns often have difficulty regulating their body temperature, particularly if they’re not dried off after birth and kept warm.

His lungs were not fully developed at birth and he’s now in the neonatal intensive care unit, sources said.

A hospital spokesman declined to comment on the baby’s condition.

The girl, who had been repeatedly sexually assaulted, was unaware that she was pregnant, the sources said. She’s now in foster care.

Norvin L. Lopez-Cante, 17, is accused of raping the 11-year-old and was in court Tuesday for a bond hearing. Charged with statutory rape and statutory sodomy of a child younger than 12, Lopez-Cante told Associate St. Charles County Judge Norman C. Steimel III that he was 16 when authorities say the assaults occurred. “I was a minor, too,” he said through an interpreter.

Steimel reminded the teen that he was not trying his case and said that when Lopez-Cante gets a lawyer, his lawyer can raise that issue. Steimel did not reduce Lopez-Cante’s $300,000 cash bond.

Also charged in the case are Francisco J. Gonzalez-Lopez, 38, and Lesbia Cante, 35. Each is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, for allegedly failing to seek medical attention for the girl after the birth.

Steimel also declined to lower the $100,000 cash bond for Gonzalez-Lopez. Cante is being held on a $10,000 bond.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Lawrence Chrum said immigration officials have placed a hold on all three defendants, saying all had entered the country illegally. The girl was born in the U.S.

St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said he believes the baby’s birth wasn’t reported sooner because of concerns that immigration authorities would be called.

Lopez-Cante admitted sexually assaulting the girl approximately 100 times, according to charging documents, but he said he did not know she was pregnant.

All pleaded not guilty last week.

Both of the men are due in court March 12. Cante is not due back in court until April.

The Post-Dispatch is withholding the relationship of the four to one another to avoid identifying the girl.

Lesbia Cante

Lesbia Cante was charged Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, with child endangerment.

Francisco Gonzalez-Lopez

Francisco Gonzalez-Lopez is shown in a booking photo provided by the St. Charles County jail.

Norvin L. Lopez-Cante

Norvin L. Lopez-Cante was charged Feb. 14, 2020, with repeatedly raping an 11-year-old St. Charles girl.

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