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Woman charged after 11-year-old daughter gives birth to baby in a bathtub

Warning: The details of this story are disturbing
Credit: St. Charles Police

ST CHARLES, Mo. — A mother was charged after her 11-year-old daughter gave birth in a bathtub last week.

Lesbia Cante pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. In court Wednesday, her cash-only bail was increased to $100,000 from $10,000.

According to court documents, Cante and her husband, Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Lopez, took a newborn to St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles last week. The baby still had the umbilical cord and placenta attached and had a body temperature of 90 degrees.

Gonzalez-Lopez initially told police someone left the infant on his front porch. In an interview with detectives two days later, he told police the father of the child was his son, 17-year-old Norvin Leonidas Lopez-Cante, and the mother was the teen’s 11-year-old relative.

PREVIOUS: 17-year-old charged with incest, rape of 11-year-old after baby born in bathtub

Gonzalez-Lopez said he did not know the girl was pregnant or that Lopez-Cante was raping her until she gave birth to the child in their bathtub.

After police read Lopez-Cante his Miranda rights, he told police he had sex with the girl about 100 times but did not know she was pregnant. He said he did not know when he first had sex with her but said it happened about twice a week.

Lopez-Cante was charged with first-degree statutory rape, statutory sodomy and incest. His bond was set at $25,000, cash-only.

Gonzalez-Lopez was charged with endangering the welfare of a child for his role in the incident. His bail was set at $10,000, cash only. Charging documents said he entered the country illegally and was previously deported.

Credit: St. Charles police
Left: Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Lopez; Center: Norvin Leonidas Lopez-Cante; Right: Lesbia Cante

According to Child Center Inc., the Child Advocacy Center of Northeast Missouri, Inc., 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.

They say 90% of the time, it’s by someone the child knows or has a relationship with. They call it the three L’s: it’s either by someone you like, love or live with. 

There are multiple resources available for victims of sexual assault.

YWCA of St. Louis has support groups for those who’ve been abused.

YWCA Metro St. Louis offers free individual and group counseling for survivors of sexual assault, including adult survivors of child sexual abuse and survivors of incest. It does not matter how long ago the trauma occurred or whether the assault was reported or prosecuted. YWCA Metro St. Louis also provides 24/7 crisis intervention at 17 area hospitals for victims of sexual or domestic violence, bringing resources and support.

  • YWCA Metro St. Louis 24 Hour Crisis Hotline — 314-531-7273
  • YWCA Metro St. Louis — 314-531-1115
  • www.ywcastl.org

Safe Connections also operates a crisis helpline. 

  • Safe Connections Crisis Helpline — 314-531-2003

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, also known as RAINN, has a website and toll-free hotline that can put victims in contact with a service provider in their area.

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