Sitting in the witness chair, a Manvel mother read a letter from her daughter which said the young girl knew things she wished she didn’t, and that for a long time she carried a terrible secret.
“I hate my secret,” the mother read. “I want to tell my secret so he won’t hurt anyone else.”
The mother read a victim impact statement Wednesday afternoon after a jury of six men and six women gave a 70-year sentence to her husband on a continuous sexual assault of a child conviction. The man could have faced up to life in prison.
The 39-year-old man is accused of having sex and performing sex acts with his 7-year-old stepdaughter at their Manvel home between December 2007 and September 2008, when the girl told her mother about the abuse.
The woman told her husband after his conviction he would not be able to throw a football, take long drives or see his own children grow up because he would be spending the next 70 years of his life in prison.
“You know what you did and how wrong you are,” the mother said. “Your choices are not yours anymore.”
It is Facts policy in sexual assault cases to withhold the name of the man because disclosing it could identify the victim.
The defendant is the first to be convicted of the continuous sexual assault charge in Brazoria County since it was added to the Texas Penal Code two years ago, Prosecutor Jessica Pulcher said.
“The jurors of Brazoria County made a statement today against a man who was doing horrible things,” Prosecutor Jay Wooten said.
The man’s attorney, Crespin Linton, said his client had nine previous convictions, four of which were felonies.
“We knew it would be a lengthy sentence,” Linton said.
Linton said he contends the child’s mother and his client had a contentious marriage, and she manufactured the charges to get back at him.
“She was so angry with him she would be willing to go this far,” he said.
Wooten said the case originally was indicted as an aggravated sexual assault and the defendant had a hung jury in July. when the case was reindicted as continuous sexual assault of a child, the victim had to testify again about the charges, Wooten said.
As prosecutors talked about the case in their office, the girl came by and hugged Wooten’s leg.
“I feel very vindicated,” he said.