San Antonio Teenager Faced Abuse for Objecting Arranged Marriage, Parents Charged

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A recent photo of Maarib Al Hishmawi - BEXAR COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
  • Bexar County Sheriff's Department
  • A recent photo of Maarib Al Hishmawi
A San Antonio teenager who went missing in January has been found safe, but now her parents are facing child abuse charges, according to multiple reports.

Maarib Al Hishmawi was last seen leaving William Howard Taft High School around 12:30 p.m. on January 30, according to county officials. In late February, the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in its search for Maarib. At the time, the joint investigation revealed allegations that Maarib was physically abused by someone she knew.

According to recent reports, Maarib was allegedly abused by her parents.

The 16-year-old girl was found safe in mid-March. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Maarib told Child Protective Services that her parents poured hot cooking oil on her and hit her with broomsticks for objecting to an arranged marriage.

He also said the girl was choked until she almost lost consciousness.

Salazar said Maarib's parents, Abdulah Fahmi Kala Al Hishmawi, 34, and Hamdiyah Sabah Al Hishmawi, 33, are each facing a felony count of continuous family violence. While both parents allegedly took part in the abuse, Salazar said he believed it was the mother who threw the cooking oil on her daughter.

News4SanAntonio reports the the Al Hishmawis had arranged a marriage between their 16-year-old daughter and a 28-year-old Dallas man, who will likely also face charges. Salazar said the family would have been paid $20,000 as part of the marriage arrangements. Investigators believe this is why Maarib left home.

Footage of the Al Hishmawis in handcuffs show the father shouting at the media. He can be heard blaming Maarib for the situation.

Maarib and her siblings are now under the care of CPS, according to the Express-News. Salazar said it's unknown if the other five children, between ages 5 and 15, have also been abused.

While the charges are through the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Salazar said the FBI may add charges of their own.

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