NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A plea agreement was made during the first day of trial for 51-year-old Jose Duran, an illegal immigrant who is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl multiple times in the period from November 2006 to March 2008.
Duran is charged with first-degree aggravated assault of a child, and two counts of indecency of a child. He faces 5 to 99 years or life in prison.
Duran pleaded no contest. The plea agreement proposed by John Tatum, his defense attorney, is 28 years of prison for three counts aggravated sexual assault, and 18 years for the remaining two charges of indecency with a child. The prison terms are concurrent, which means he will serve them at the same time.
Andrew Jones, an assistant district attorney for Nacogdoches County, said that an arrest warrant was issued for Duran back in 2008. However, he fled, and he was not served with the arrest warrant and brought back to Nacogdoches until 2015.
"The victim of this horrible offense was satisfied that her abuser was held accountable for his actions and happy that she did not have to relive these events on the stand in open court," Jones said. "This was a long time ago for this victim and something she just wants to put behind her and move on with her life."
Jones said if Duran is released from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Duran, of Jacksonville was arrested in Nacogdoches; His bond amount was set at $1 million, and he is still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail.
Judge Ed Klein of the 420th Judicial District Court began by verifying that Duran understood all five counts of the indictment, and the potential consequences if convicted. Duran said he understood.
Klein then read what would result in his plea of no contest following trial if the judge chose to accept the terms of the plea agreement.
"If you are not a United States citizen, a plea of guilty or no contest may result in deportation," Klein said. "As I understand it, you are not a legal citizen. Are you aware that following this trial you will be deported?"
Duran said he understood, and the judge reviewed the plea agreement, and gave his decision of if the terms were approved.
"The evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction. The defendant has entered his plea and plea agreement knowingly and voluntarily," Klein said. "I approve the defendant's waiver and consents, and I agree to the plea agreement."
The family of the victim was given the opportunity to provide victim impact statements. There was one printed and given to the judge. One person requested to speak with Duran following the charges and sentence being read. This individual spoke with Duran briefly who was visibly upset and crying.
The conclusion of trial resulted in the judge accepting the proposed plea agreement. Duran was found guilty of each count alleged in the indictment. The defendant will now be deported, and serve a concurrent 28 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child (counts 1, 2 and 3) and 18 years for indecency with a child (counts 4 and 5).