By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBS4) – A 7-year-old girl who witnessed the abuse of the Barahona twins is also the victim of abuse herself, CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald is reporting.

Barahona’s granddaughter occasionally stayed with the family after school and told a therapist that she had witnessed the twins bound and left in a bathroom or forced to stand in garbage bins.

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The girl’s biological father Yovani Perez appeared before a family court judge Friday and was awarded temporary custody. He was also granted permission to take his daughter to Orlando for the weekend. She had reportedly been asked to keep what she had seen a secret.

As he walked out of court Friday, Perez said he couldn’t comment on the case, but described his daughter “as a gift from God.”

Yovani said he felt good, but couldn’t say anything more after the court hearing on Friday.

While Yovani was happy, the child’s mother Jennifer Perez hid her face behind her hands and ran out of the court room refusing to speak with reporters Friday morning.

CBS4’s Peter D’Oench asked Perez if he felt his daughter would be “better off” with him, Perez responded, “Yes.” He also told D’Oench that what his daughter said she witnessed at the Barahona home was “very tragic.”

A family court judge also ordered that the girl be treated by a therapy specialist who is trained in these cases. Esther Jacobo, the top lawyer for the Department of Children and Families, said she asked the judge to keep the girl’s mother away from her.

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“Based on what we learned, we felt this was in the best interests of the child that the father have custody and the mother have no contact,” Jacobo said.

It was an order that the judge granted.

“I want to find out more about these allegations,” said Judge Sandy Karlin. “They are pretty horrific at this point.”

The Barahona family came under intense scrutiny after investigators discovered the body of his adopted daughter Nubia in the back of his pick up truck on I-95 in West Palm Beach Monday.

Jorge Barahona made his first court appearance Friday and said he plans to plead not guilty to charges of attempted first-degree murder with a weapon and aggravated child abuse with a weapon.

Barahona was found with his 10-year-old son Victor who had been suffering from burns and breathing problems after chemicals were found in his truck. Nubia’s body was discovered in the back of the truck stuffed in a plastic bag.

Yovani Perez told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench that he is planning to take his daughter to Disney World this weekend because he wants to distract her from the latest developments. He did say he’ll be back in court for another hearing on Tuesday when the judge wants to hear more details about what happened.

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(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

Peter D'Oench