Special prosecutor Dawn Armstrong, investigator Mike Shapaka and Defense Attorney Tim James have a discussion moments after Horace Rambin was sentenced to 10 years in prison. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Coincidentally, a Harold’s House display in the courthouse expresses, ‘Give hope to a child.’ A woman molested as a child persevered, and her allegations are providing hope for others, said prosecutors. (Source: KTRE Staff).
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -
More alarming details on the circumstances surrounding a crime committed more than two decades ago are being released.
Horace Rambin of Garrison is awaiting transport to a state prison for crimes he committed 20 years ago.
In Friday, the now 43-year-old man, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with two children by contact. Multiple other incidences in 1996 involving three sisters were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Horace Rambin may have thought 20 years ago the young girl he sexually assaulted would keep what he did to her secret forever.
It was quite the contrary according to special prosecutor Dawn Armstrong.
"She did come forward back in the 90s,” Armstrong said. “She did report it."
As one might expect, the pre-teen told a trusted adult what had happened. The reaction is the surprise.
"The defendant was [the woman’s] boyfriend and later husband,” Armstrong said. “And at that time, for whatever reason, [the woman] chose to side with her husband, and the girl was removed from the house and went to live with a friend."
Armstrong said the teen presented allegations multiple times to the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office.
Armstrong said the victim “kind of hit a brick wall,” and the adult she talked to about what happened put a great deal of pressure to say everything was consensual. It wasn’t consensual, Armstrong said, adding it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because the victim was 13 at the time.
In 2014, the victim, now an adult, re-initiated the claims.
By then, social media had arrived, and as a result, she discovered Rambin was once again around young girls. It's then when two sisters revealed they had been molested by Rambin as well.
“It was reopened in 2014,” Armstrong said. “The wheels of justice move slowly, I guess."
The women persevered through two mistrials. Defense attorney Tim James saw the case was headed to a plea agreement.
"This was a five to life case,” James said. “So it could have been life in prison."
Instead, Rambin received 10 years in prison. Armstrong said the victims are satisfied. An investigator said the women's willingness not to give up provides hope for others.
“I believe it gives hope to other women and other victims because that's what we want,” said Mike Shapaka, the investigator on the case. “We want them to come forward. We want them to make reports. We want them to speak out."
Steps away in the courthouse hallway is a display by Harold's House, a child advocacy center. It says, “Give hope to a child.” It’s exactly what one young victim attempted for 20 years, and finally accomplished.
Challenges for both the prosecution and defense in preparing for trials included the location of witnesses and changed laws and statute of limitations since the 90s. One benefit was the victims could clearly recall the crimes to authorities.
Hambin was indicted on three first-degree felony aggravated assault of a child charges and four felony indecency with a child charges in February of 2015.
Then in February of 2016, a visiting judge declared a mistrial before Rambin’s jury trial was set to start in the 145th Judicial District Court.
In a previous East Texas News, Andrew Jones, a prosecutor with the Nacogdoches County District Attorney’s Office, said one of the jurors knew one of the witnesses too well, but didn’t realize it beforehand.