FARMINGTON — Police said in court that Shanevan Beyale and Keasha Morales were high on methamphetamine the night last month when their seven-month-old child was allegedly sexually assaulted.
Beyale was dressed in women's clothing with painted nails — his routine when he gets high on the drug, Farmington police Detective Donovan Stearns said in court on Wednesday. Morales hallucinated when she was interviewed at the police department, and the open sores on her face indicated she abused the drug, Stearns said.
Beyale, 22, is charged with criminal sexual penetration against a child and child abuse in connection to the alleged Feb. 7 assault. Magistrate Judge Stanley King sent the charges against Beyale to district court after a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Morales, 23, is charged with felony child abuse. She has waived her right to a preliminary hearing, and her charge will be heard in district court.
Farmington police Officer William Temples said during Wednesday's hearing that he arrived at the Travelodge, 510 Scott Ave., at about 11:15 p.m. Feb. 7, shortly after hotel employees called 911 to say two parents were accusing each other in the hotel lobby of raping their baby.
Beyale and Morales were arrested and taken to the police department. The baby boy was taken to the San Juan Regional Medical Center for an exam.
Temples said he found the couple's room in disarray and later found a methamphetamine pipe outside the window. A hotel employee told him the two parents were accusing each other of raping the child, Temples said on Wednesday.
Stearns interviewed Morales and Beyale at the police department. He said at times during the interview Beyale contradicted himself, and he originally accused Morales of assaulting the child.
At one point, Beyale said it was possible his DNA was in his child's diaper, Stearns said in court on Wednesday.
Stearns told the court Beyale said in the interview he was putting lotion on his son to treat diaper rash, and he briefly penetrated him with his thumb.
"I asked him why he did it, and he gestured to his head and said he knew what he was doing was wrong, and in his heart he said, 'What the (explicit) are you doing?'" Stearns said. "I asked him if he gave into his sexual urges, and he told me yes."
Beyale's attorney, Stephen Taylor, called Dr. Eric Ketcham to testify on Wednesday. Ketcham is a medical director at San Juan Regional Medical Center and examined the child.
Ketcham said he didn't find any clear signs of abuse, but a sexual assault nurse examiner gave the child a more thorough exam, he said in court.
Taylor said in court there was probable cause for the child abuse charges, but there is no physical evidence that criminal sexual penetration occurred.
Assistant District Attorney Shellie Patscheck said in court that Beyale's statements to police are enough evidence to try him in district court.
"He said he did it to satisfy a sexual urge. He said he got caught up in a moment with drugs," Patscheck said. "This was not an accident. This was not in the normal course of changing a child's diaper. The defendant said he knew what he was doing was wrong, and he gave into a sexual urge."
Patscheck said a Navajo Nation health services agency took custody of the child after it was released from the hospital. She said the agency gave the child's relatives custody.Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.