If you or a family member faces a possible child sex abuse charge, you may be wondering how serious such charges are in the Houston area or in Texas as a whole.
If so, how serious does nearly 200 years in prison sound to you?
That’s the sentence recently given to a Conroe man after he was convicted on 2 charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Fernando Guzman, age 28, was sentenced in Montgomery County after a jury took just 20 minutes to find him guilty of the charges, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. The jury then needed only 1 hour to decide the sentencing.
Guzman was convicted of sexually abusing children 7 and 8 years old — both of them relatives of the defendant — on multiple occasions. Prosecutors said the children were subjected to “horrific acts.”
Guzman was arrested by Conroe Police after an investigation began when one of the 2 children told their mother of the abuse. Both children had sexual assault examinations, and police then had enough evidence to arrest Guzman.
Two 99-year sentences add up
Guzman was sentenced to two 99-year sentences stacked atop each other, for a total of 198 years in prison. Guzman was also fined $10,000 for both charges.
“The judge and jury got it right,” Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Wesley LeRouax said in a statement reported by the Houston Chronicle. “Any child that has the courage to come forward and disclose sexual abuse deserves justice. In this case, two children had to endure a tragedy.”
However, not every sex crime charge involves a case as open-and-shut as this one may have been.
Texas punishes sex crimes against children severely
Texas has particularly severe laws against sex crimes involving children.
In Montgomery County this summer, 17 people were rounded up and arrested on sex crime charges, and 15 of those charges involved a child. The 15 Texas sex crime charges were varied but all were serious, including online solicitation of a minor, aggravated sexual assault of a child, possession of child pornography and possession of child pornography with intent to promote.
Earlier this year, a sex crime sting operation conducted by the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force netted the arrests of 24 people.
All were arrested on suspicion of online solicitation of a minor, a sex crime that is a second-degree felony in Texas. If convicted of that charge, a person can face 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000, as well as having to register as a sex offender.
Contact a skilled Houston sex crime defense attorney
Clearly, skilled and knowledgeable legal help from a veteran sex crime defense attorney is vital for defendants.
If you or a loved one faces a sex crime charge in Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Houston or elsewhere in Harris County, notify the Neal Davis Law Firm. Contact us today, and we will quickly provide you a legal review of your case.