Miguel Vargas’ three children had a message for him Friday: “We are not broken.”
Vargas, 48, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for what Judge Donna Taylor called “unspeakable acts of mental torture.”
A jury convicted Vargas in September on three counts of second-degree child endangerment along with obstruction of justice for years of mental and verbal abuse against his two daughters and stepson.
Due to a lone holdout, jurors were unable to reach a verdict on charges involving his stepdaughter, which include sexual abuse.
At least one juror attended the sentencing Friday, but did want to speak on the record. She did confirm that only one juror opted not to convict.
The state agreed to dismiss those charges, but the victim did address her stepfather in court.
“No words can express how much has been stolen from me,” the now-26-year-old woman said, looking at her stepfather. “You are a monster, Miguel.”
She told the judge she planned to have someone else read her statement but decided at the last minute to address him herself.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Buckley said this case was one that sticks out in her 17 years dealing with many child cases.
“It is when that I recall the moment I got the phone call regarding these children and I recall the moment I asked the FBI’s task force to inform me when the children were recovered,” she said
Her first question: “Are they all alive?”
On Friday, three of the four children rescued that day let Miguel Vargas see they had survived. His younger daughter did not attend the trial or sentencing, but confirmed to BreakingAC that everything her siblings alleged was true.
“My life started with you taking away my freedom and freewill, something you had no right to do,” said his stepson, Iking Sam Davis Jr.
The now-25-year-old man was confined to his room away from his mother and sisters, forced to bang on the floor to get fed. He would even urinate in water bottles because he was not let out to even use the bathroom, Buckley said.
Davis is now blind in his left eye due to untreated infections and neither eye can dilate, he said in court.
His stepfather instilled fear of life, other people and even himself in 15 years of torture that began when he was just 9 years old.
‘You told me that anger and violence runs in my blood,” Davis said. “You have forbade any form of human contact with me from anyone from my mother, sisters or any stranger. I struggle daily with touching any human, whether it be a hug or a pat on the back.”
Even the word love remains a struggle for him, he said: “I almost feel like a prisoner in my own mind.”
Ginelle Vargas said that, while he is her biological father, any successes she has attained were in spite of him.
Now 21, she credits her foster parents for helping her acclimate to school and life outside her parents’ home.
She even was able to be accepted to several colleges, including Princeton.
“Regardless of all the inhuman things you have done to me, and all the pain you’ve caused, I am unlike you,” she told him. “I am nothing like you. After all of the pain you have inflicted on me as an individual, I still manage to have a heart, with feeling. I love, I hurt, I cry, I feel everything everyday of my existence but I do not allow my past to affect how I treat those around me.”
Before the sentencing, Ginelle Vargas said she didn’t expect her father to show remorse.
In a brief statement to the court, he asked for a light sentence.
“My heart is broken by all of this here,” Miguel Vargas told the judge. “I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be going through this with my kids or my stepchildren.”
While defense attorney Murray Sufrin said his client thought he was raising his children according to the Bible, Judge Taylor did not find that credible.
She said he did not “truly believe the Bible told him to verbally abuse and neglect his children.”