Police: Parents abused daughter after she refused arranged marriage

Posted at 1:19 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 01:34:13-04

BEXAR COUNTY, TX (KSAT/CNN) – A couple in Texas, charged with continuous violence against a family member for allegedly beating their 16-year-old daughter, were released on bond Sunday.

Maarib Al Hishmawi, 16, and her five younger siblings are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, following their parents’ arrests Friday night.

Authorities say Maarib’s parents – Abdulah Al Hishmawi, 34, and Hamdiyah Al Hishmawi, 33 – attempted to force her into an arranged marriage and subjected her to physical abuse when she refused.

"It was reported to us that this young lady was abused with hot cooking oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten with broomsticks. At least at one point, she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

Salazar says the man slated to marry the 16-year-old paid the family $20,000.

The teenager ran away and was reported missing Jan. 30 after she was last seen leaving her high school. Salazar says they found Maarib in mid-March and that she was taken in by an organization after she ran away and was safe.

In February, after Maarib’s disappearance, her father appeared on television, saying he believed his daughter had been kidnapped. He also complained that law enforcement showed a slow response to the case and pleaded for the 16-year-old to come home.

Salazar says it’s unclear whether Maarib’s siblings were also abused and added that he believes other charges will be filed in connection with this case. He says it’s “highly likely” the man Maarib was arranged to be married to will be charged.

Copyright 2018 KSAT, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Family photos via CNN. All rights reserved.