TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Corey Valdez, a former Taos teacher, has taken a plea deal in a child abuse case involving his adopted children. Corey and his wife were accused by two of their adopted children of physical and sexual abuse starting right after they were brought into the home.

The then 12-year-old boy ran to a neighbors home on Christmas Day in 2020. He told them he was tired of standing in the cold wearing nothing but a trash bag. The boy was hospitalized and diagnosed with malnutrition. During an interview with investigators, he shared numerous accounts of physical abuse. The boy said he was forced to use the bathroom in a pickle jar, had to drink water out of the toilet, and was placed in a trashcan filled with snow.

His 13-year-old sister told investigators she was also abused. The girl said Stephanie Valdez kicked her, tackled her, and sat on her when the girl would ask for more food. The girl also said Cory sexually abused her.

Under the plea deal, he will serve 20 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. Stephanie’s trial is scheduled for January.