A 41-year-old Texas man has been convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's child in 2010, which could result in a prison sentence of between 15 and 99 years behind bars. He was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault, with an unrelated drug conviction potentially extending his sentence. A jury delivered the verdict after just over an hour of deliberation.
Texas harshly punishes those convicted of sexual assault and related offenses, especially if they involve children. Such offenses are generally classified as felonies and carry heavy prison sentences. For instance, indecent exposure to a child is punishable by up for 10 years in prison. Aggravated sexual assault on a child, a first-degree felony, can carry a 99-year prison term in addition to hefty fines. Additionally, Texas passed a number of state laws in the 1990s that enforce longer prison sentences for offenders found guilty of child sexual assault, forcing them to serve at least 50 percent of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole. The severity of these penalties make it crucial for anyone accused of a sex crime in Texas to seek qualified legal representation immediately.
The assaults at the center of the case allegedly occurred in 2010 when the suspect was living with his girlfriend and her two children. One of the children told his mother and police that the suspect assaulted him on several occasions, but was unsure regarding exactly when the alleged abuse occurred. The suspect denied assaulting the child, claiming that the boy suffered abuse at the hand of another person. He noted that a man convicted in 2008 lived with the victim's mother for some time.
Following the sentencing, the suspect's aunt reportedly attacked the victim's mother and accused her of lying. Several law enforcement officers who were present restrained the woman and arrested her for assault. She remained in jail at last report.
Source: The Graham Leader, "Man found guilty of sexual assault of a child, aunt commits assault following verdict," Cherry Rushin, Nov. 12, 2012