Dallas man says he didn't starve children in hotel

DALLAS (AP) - The man accused of keeping three emaciated children in a hotel bathroom for about a year and sexually assaulting one of them said in an interview from jail that he is a victim, adding that the children had access to "mountains of food."

Thirty-seven-year-old Alfred Santiago said Wednesday that it was his girlfriend who kept her children locked up in the bathroom, and that he wanted them kept away from the 1-year-old daughter the couple had together. Police found the children earlier this month "horribly emaciated, underweight and malnourished."

But Santiago told The Dallas Morning News that the children were to blame for their poor health because of their refusal to eat "mountains of rice, of chicken, of pork chops, of hot dogs."

Santiago is jailed on charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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