Tue, July 23

Camp Verde couple accused of torture released from custody

Two Camp Verde residents arrested earlier this week for allegedly torturing their adult daughter have been released from jail.

According to Wendy Escoffier of the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, Paul L. Padilla, 38, was released from Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde after posting a $50,000 bond Wednesday. Elizabeth Katrina, 38, posted a $50,000 bond Thursday morning and also was released.

The natural mother and stepfather of 19-year-old Jennifer Simmons, were arrested Monday for aggravated assault and vulnerable adult abuse. They are accused of allegedly shocking Simmons behind the ears, on her tongue, in her nose and on the palms of her hands with an electrical cord, Escoffier said. She also was allegedly beaten for stealing food and water.

Simmons grew up in Mesa with her adoptive mother but had been living in Camp Verde with Katrina and Padilla for the last 14 months.

Monday’s charges stem from a phone call Simmons reportedly made to police from a pay phone at the Circle K in Camp Verde. Upon arrival, deputies noticed Simmons had bruises on her face and a bloody left eye, Escoffier said. An examination at the Verde Valley Medical Center indicated she also had bruises over most of her body.

However, a police report from 1999 shows Simmons was admitted to VVMC in October for similar injuries but reportedly told police and doctors "the injuries she had sustained were self-inflicted in nature and had not been caused by any other person to include her mother."

Escoffier said Simmons probably made up those remarks because she was apparently taught not to trust uniformed officers. The accusations made by Simmons this past Monday were reported to medical personal and a plain clothes officer, Escoffier said.

Padilla and Katrina were arrested on charges of vulnerable adult abuse after Adult Protective Services determined Simmons to be vulnerable, Escoffier said. Police are unclear whether Simmons is mentally ill but said she is on the prescription drugs Paxil and Depakote. According to a Cottonwood pharmacist, Paxil is an anti-depressant and Depakote is an anti-convulsion and anti-depressant drug.

Other marshal's office reports point to several alleged incidents of verbal abuse between Katrina and Padilla, bewteen Katrina and several of her other children.

When the couple was arrested Monday, three of their children between the ages of 11 and 14 were taken from their residence on Buffalo Trail and placed in foster care.

According to the couple's release conditions, Katrina and Padilla are not allowed contact of any kind with Simmons, who is reportedly living back in Mesa with her adoptive mother, Mary Ellen Simmons.