Two Iraqi immigrants allegedly beat, choked and threw hot oil on their sixteen-year-old daughter because she refused to enter into an arranged marriage that would have netted her parents roughly $20,000, according to local police.
The couple, both of whom immigrated to San Antonio, Texas two years ago, are facing family abuse charges, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.
Authorities first became aware of the situation after the alleged victim, Maarib Al Hishmawi, was reported missing in January by her father, 34-year-old Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, according to the local CBS affiliate.
Maarib told police when she was found earlier this month that she ran away to avoid the arranged marriage, which she eventually consented to in order to stop the abuse.
“It became fairly obvious very early on that this wasn’t a regular missing persons case,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters Friday.
“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused, with hot oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten by broomsticks. At one point she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness,” said Salazar.
Maarib and her five younger siblings have been placed in the care of Child Protective Services.
The man who planned to pay Maarib’s parents $20,000 to marry her will likely also face charges.