Search Warrant: Abilene Couple Made Children Sniff Spray from Rag, Sexually Assaulted Them


Editor’s note: This article contains explicit information about this case some readers may find offensive. Continue reading at your own discretion. 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Detectives have filed a search warrant to gain access to a phone used by an Abilene woman accused of forcing two children under the age of 10 to be sexually abused by a 56-year-old man for years.

The warrant is for data and electronic communication stored on the phone of Chelsea Diaz, 29.

Court documents say police began investigating Diaz and her significant other, Howard Sturgis, 56, earlier this month after one of the child victims made an outcry to a school teacher about ongoing sexual abuse from both Diaz and Sturgis.

This child said Sturgis would make both young children touch his private parts, and the child also claimed Diaz would make the children sniff spray off a rag before some of the alleged sex acts between the children and Sturgis occurred, according to the documents. 

Additional information provided in the documents reveals the child told detectives that one time, Diaz called the children into the room with her and Sturgis and made the children dig around for something inside his body.

The documents state the second child victim did not make an outcry when initially contacted by detectives, but a relative of the children was able to confirm some of the claims.

One child victim was also able to show detectives the cans of spray described above, when police were on scene at Diaz’s and Sturgis’ home. The documents claim the cans were removed from under the couple’s bed, and at this point in the investigation, “CPS took custody of the children”.

After the children were placed in CPS custody, they underwent sexual assault nurse examinations, and the documents say both children made outcries of abuse during these examinations. 

The older child stated the sexual abuse had been ongoing since 2015. Court documents state this child said Sturgis would sometimes engage in sexual activity with Diaz and both child victims at the same time. 

The younger child also stated Sturgis would touch her inappropriately and then also described the incident where Diaz allegedly made the children dig around for something from inside Sturgis body.

The documents say Diaz did admit to this incident but told detectives it was not for sexual gratification. 

Sturgis also opened up to detectives about this incident, according to the documents, which state he claims the children were asked to help because an object had become stuck inside him. 

Detectives are seeking data from Diaz’s phone that could provide more evidence about these child sex crimes, including calls, emails, test messages, pictures, video, audio, recordings and internet history. 

Both Diaz and Sturgis were released from the Taylor County Jail after posting a $100,000 each for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child charges.

BigCountryHomepage will continue to follow this case. Check back for any updates as they become available. 

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