Three charged in alleged torture of Texas senate candidate

Police have charged three people in connection with an alleged assault on a Texas GOP state senate candidate in a hotel room on Christmas Eve..

Vanessa Tijerina, 42, says that she received a phone call from somebody who lured her to a Raymondville, Tex., hotel room because they had something important to tell her apparently about her personal safety, but it could only be discussed in person rather than on the phone.

On Twitter, Tijerina wrote that after she arrived at the location, “I was violently terrorized, bound, gagged & tortured. 3 have been arrested. This was purely a hate crime. The person ordering the torture on a live stream is still unidentified.”

Tijerina posted several videos on her Facebook page describing what happened (and its aftermath) which show severely swollen eyes and other facial bruises. “Somebody wanted this done to my face,” she said.

She explained that the alleged assailants stole everything, including her car, her money, and her children’s Christmas presents. “I never fought back because I knew if I fought back, it was gonna go worse for me, and I probably wasn’t gonna survive. And I needed to survive for my daughters,” she explained in the initial emotional video embedded below.

In Election 2020, Tijerina was an unsuccessful candidate for deep-blue state district 27 in the Rio Grande Valley. She reportedly had previously run for separate offices as a Democrat and as a member of the Green Party. She was also denounced by the state’s Republican Party after a DUI arrest that involved “crack pipes” (more on that below).

The suspects, one man and two women, face multiple charges, KVEO-TV reported, some of which include assault, aggravated robbery, unlawful restraint, engaging in organized criminal activity, and possession. Each suspect was assigned a bond in the range of $100,000-plus.

Cops have not yet determined if a fourth person was remotely masterminding the attack, as the victim asserted. Nor have law enforcement authorities publicly revealed a motive for the beating.

In September, the Texas Republican Party withdrew its support for Tijerina’s senate candidacy after she was arrested by local police for alleged DUI, the Dallas Morning News reported at the time.

Officers said she was in possession of “crack pipe” drug paraphernalia and had child passengers at the time of her arrest.

“Her behavior does not reflect the values of the GOP of Texas, and we do not wish to promote anyone of her character,” the party said in a statement. Tijerina countered that the party was never supportive of her candidacy from the beginning.

The details about the attack on the ex-senate candidate in south Texas are still unfolding. Check back for updates.


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