Genevieve Moniqui "Genny" Rojas
January 13, 1991 - July 21, 1995
Find A Grave Memorial

In May of 1997, a sad event took place, an eight year old child took the stand to testify against his parents in the death of his three and a half year old cousin. Genny was seen in her Uncles dirty t-shirt though a fist sized hole in a door that was missing the doorknob. The child watched as his father filled the bathtub with boiling hot water with steam rising up into the air. The t-shirt hung off of the little girls shoulders as this little Angel was lifted into the air and put into the hot water:

"When they, when they, whey they would put the hot water, she would scream and
cry. I heard nothing else"
Eight Year Old Boy

What this boy had to say had been videotaped in 1995 during the preliminary hearing and there was some issue with having the child in court instead of playing the video tape. Judge Michael Wellington made his decision based on the recommendation of therapists and decided that the tape would be played for the jury instead of the child coming to court:

"Substantial trauma will be visited on these kids if they were called to
testify. It seems to me that the courts must have and do inherently have
the right to make orders protecting children from clear and imminent harm"

This brave little boy said that he and his siblings, ages two to eight, were very rarely allowed to go outside and at times, they were all sent to bed without anything to eat, though Genny was the one to suffer the most. The boy said that at times, he and his siblings would sneak food to her and when they got caught, they would all get beaten he also said that Genny was cut and forced to eat her own feces. The boy said that on the night she died, Genny had been splashed in the face with hot water. Investigators questioned this little boy for over an hour before they finally thanked him and said he would be taken into protective custody. Realizing that he would not be returning to his parents, he lifted his head and nodded.

Jurors viewed the tape two weeks before they began deliberations in the trial of Ivan Gonzales. It was reported that a search for records of U.S. death penalty cases produced no case in which children were forced to testify. Ivan and Veronica had both wanted a plea deal in which they would plead guilty in exchange for life without parole, that plea deal was rejected:

"We're going for the death penalty"
Gayle Falkenthal - District Attorney

Susan Clemens, Veronica's Defense Attorney said that the first statements made by this brave little boy didn't match up to what he had originally said and that clearly he wasn't sure of what he saw:

"It's a phenomenal tragedy, but more importantly, his testimony is being introduced
in an effort to execute his parents"

CLEARLY Susan is missing the point, this little Angle suffered, was beaten, tortured and eventually KILLED by these two evil people, the words of an eight year old boy have NOTHING to do with what they did, the evidence SHOWS what was done to Genny. Genevieve Rojas, known as Genny, died at the hands of her Uncle Ivan and Aunt Veronica Gonzales with burns covering about 50% of her body with parts of her skin being okay and other parts peeling, showing that she had been alive and contouring her body in an attempt to protect herself. Ivan and Veronica were said to have waited several hours before they called for help. The case of Genny Rojas was called the worst case of child abuse in San Diego County at the time.

Reports said that Genny had been sent to live with her Uncle and Aunt after her mother checked into a drug rehabilitation center and her father was in jail. Genny had been being abused for at least six months, she was forced to live in a box, hung up by her hands from a hook in a closet in the home, had her hair pulled out by the roots and was burned with a hair dryer. After she died, an autopsy said that Genny had slowly died from being scalding, but it took about two hours for her die.

in January of 1998, Ivan Gonzales, by now being called "Ivan The Terrible", was sentenced to death for the torture and murder of Genny. Ivan tried to say that Veronica had regularly abused and then killed Genny and that she had beaten on him as well.

In July of 1998 Veronica Gonzales was sentenced to death by Judge Michael Wellington who had accepted the decision of the jury to give her the death penalty. In June of 2011, Veronica lost an appeal she had filed when the State Supreme Court upheld her death sentence. Veronica had been convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances of torture and mayhem. Defense Attorney Michael Popkins said that due to the fact that Veronica was a first time offender and was herself a battered woman who was dominated by her husband, she should receive a lesser sentence. DISGUSTINGLY, Michael said that Veronica had impaired judgment because she had been under the influence of Meth Amphetamine at the time. REALLY? So, Michael says that she does an illegal drug, kills a child while doing that illegal drug and he thinks because she did an illegal drug and THEN killed a child, that she deserves to live? I am not for the death penalty, however, I believe if the jury sentences someone to the death penalty, these Defense Attorneys should be ASHAMED of themselves for the LAME EXCUSES they come up with for their clients.

Veronica cried when Judge Wellington gave his decision against saving her life, adding that while she may have been under the influence of the drug Meth Amphetamine, she could still have been able to understand what she was doing was wrong. The sentence would be on automatic appeal by the State Supreme Court. In June of 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentence of Veronica

Justice Carole Corrigan wrote that the scalding of Genny had only been the last of what these two had done to her, that she had suffered a "prolonged and varied course of abuse" and that the apartment they lived in had become a house of horror for Genny adding that after hearing the testimony of what happened, jury members and investigators were haunted by what they heard and saw for long periods of time after the trial was over. The couple had six children of their own and none of them were harmed.

Veronica was still going to be able to file more appeals with the Federal and State courts which could take many years.

In August of 2012, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, upheld the death sentence of Ivan Gonzales. Issues were raised about things that took place during his trial. Associate Justice Carol Corrigan rejected all of them:

"The evidence that Genny was extensively tortured over a period of time is
overwhelming in this case. Her injuries were such that an intent to inflict
extreme and prolonged pain for a sadistic purpose was obvious"

Ivan was entitled to more appeals in Federal and State courts and of course those appeals would take years. This was said to be the first time a husband and wife team were sentenced to death for the same crime.

On July 21, 2012, Genny's sister, Anita Rojas left this message for her on her Find A Grave memorial::

17 years ago today you were tooken away from me. I love and miss you so much. I still dont understand why. God will reunite us one day. Till that day comes all I can do is keeps the memories close to me and dream of you. love you little sister. I know your looking down on us. And your at peace.

Appreciation goes out to Cat who has never let the children down and continues to help keep their memories alive by sending their names to be memorialized here. Sadly, I am noticing that I am adding this Angel just one day before the 19th anniversary of her death.

This page was created on January 12, 2015

Death occurred in the state of California

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