LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A Polk County jury sentenced a 42-year-old man to 99 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at a Livingston home while the child's mother was at work.
The sentence came after two days of testimony in the jury trial for Ricky Ray Martinez, of Onalaska. The trial was held in the 258th Judicial District Court, and it took the jury about 20 minutes to convict Martinez of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon said that evidence presented at trial showed that Martinez repeatedly sexually abused the 11-year-old victim at a Livingston home back in 2014.
"The victim, who testified during the trial, had originally reported the sexual molestation to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department in January of 2016 while living with her grandparents and was interviewed by a forensic interviewer at Children's Safe Harbor, a Children's Advocacy Center in Conroe," Hon said.
At that point, the matter was referred to the Livingston Police Department. The follow-up investigation was conducted by LPD Detective Leon Middleton, and a Polk County grand jury indicted Martinez back in April 2016.
"In addition to the testimony of the victim, Polk County Assistant District Attorneys Kari Allen and Nicole Washington presented testimony regarding the child's outcry of abuse from the victim's grandparents and mother; as well as expert testimony from the forensic interviewer," Hon said. "Under Texas law, Martinez will not become eligible for parole consideration until he has served a minimum of thirty years in prison."
Hon also said that Martinez will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
"Following the verdict and sentence, Allen commended the young victim for 'having the courage to come forward to report the abuse,' and thanked the 'police officers and child victims' advocates who worked hard to obtain justice in this case,'" Hon said.
The Polk County District Attorney also said that Allen thanked the jurors who sat through the difficult testimony and "returned a verdict which will hopefully send a loud message that the citizens of Polk County have no tolerance for the victimization or sexual exploitation of our children."