LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 43-year-old Arkansas man accepted a plea bargain deal of 50 years in prison for sexually assaulting a young Angelina County girl under the age of 14 several times over the course of a year on Wednesday morning.
Howard David Frazier, of Norphlet, Arkansas, appeared in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court Wednesday morning for a plea hearing.
As part of the agreement, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. He agreed to a 20-year sentence for each of the sexual assault of a child charges and a 10-year sentence for the indecency with a child charge, and the prison terms will be served consecutively.
"I'm glad that we were able to get a plea bargain out of it, and we didn't have to put the victim through a trial or anything of that sort. I'm just glad for her that this is over," said April Ayers-Perez, an assistant district attorney for Angelina County.
And there was not a lack of support at Wednesday's hearing for the victim. Members of B.A.C.A. or Bikers Against Child Abuse, were at the courthouse.
"In a nutshell, just give them the power. They've had that taken away from them and that's what we're here for is to give them that support," said Wolf, president of B.A.C.A.
The group makes it their mission to come to court with abused children, serving as protectors to victims on what is often an intimidating day.
"Today was a glorious day; she actually got up and read her victim statement, very powerful. Anytime a child is able to do that is a step in the right direction, very powerful," Wolf said.
And it was in that statement where the now 18-year-old girl said following today's verdict, she feels she is now able to live the life he once kept her from living.
"Speaking for the victim, I do feel justice is served, and I feel that she can move on now and start recovering, and that's what we wanted," Perez said.
In December 2014, a Texas Ranger and an Angelina County Sheriff's Office investigator tracked Frazier down in Arkansas. When he was first arrested, he was originally charged with continuous sexual assault of a child under the age of 14.
The initial outcry about the alleged sexual assault was made on Dec. 1, 2014. According to the affidavit, the girl was brought in to Lufkin's Harold's House for a forensic interview, in which she described what had been done to her.
In addition, a SANE exam revealed evidence that backed up the victim's story, the affidavit stated.
When investigators reviewed Frazier's criminal history, they found that he is a lifetime registered sex offender.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety's Sex Offender Database, Frazier was convicted on a sexual assault of a child charge in 1996 and sentenced to five years in prison. The victim was a 15-year-old girl, the DPS database stated.