LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Judge Barry Bryan of Angelina County's 217th Judicial District Court sentenced a 33-year-old Lufkin man to 25 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for molesting a the-10-year-old girl.
Miguel Ramos Lopez appeared in Bryan's courtroom for a sentencing hearing. An Angelina County jury found him guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child and not guilty of continuous sexual assault of a child on April 4.
According to the terms of the sentencing, Lopez will have to serve at least 12 ½ years of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole. In addition there is a immigration hold on Lopez, which means as soon as he is released from prison, he will be deported to Mexico.
During Lopez' jury trial, he took the stand in his defense and said he "never did anything." Lopez testified that he had never touched the alleged victim. He said the testimony against him is not true, and none of it ever happened. He told defense attorney Rudy Velasquez that he was never alone with the alleged victim, and her family was always around.
According to an arrest affidavit, the alleged victim, who is now 11, told counselors at Harold's House that Lopez had touched her inappropriately three times in October 2011. The alleged victim also said Lopez would watch her take showers. She said she would lock the bathroom door, but Lopez would find a key, open the door, pull back the shower curtain and watch her shower. Lufkin Police officers arrested Lopez at his place of work in April 2012.
During the first day of testimony at Lopez's jury trial in April, the alleged victim testified that Lopez would touch her inappropriately while she gave him back rubs on the couch. She said he would sometimes nibble her neck and pulled her legs around his waist. She said the sexual acts he performed on her made her feel "uncomfortable," and "awkward."
She also said Lopez came into the bathroom one time while she was showering, pulled the shower curtain back and told her she was "wasting shampoo" and to "hurry up." She said she found his behavior "weird."
Prosecutor Layne Thompson told jurors the alleged abuse lasted from December 15, 2011 to March 31, 2012. The alleged victim also told the jury that one night before she went to bed, Lopez told her to give him a hug and moved her hand to the front part of his pants to touch his groin. She said she decided to tell her aunt about the abuse.
The alleged victim's mother said she was surprised and upset when she heard about the abuse.