Man caught sexually assaulting girl at Polk County church gets probation

Hector Morales (Source: Polk County Jail)
Hector Morales (Source: Polk County Jail)

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A Cleveland man caught having sex with an underage girl in a church parking lot has avoided going to prison after taking a plea deal.

Court records show Hector Antonio Morales pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault of a child and accepted five years of deferred adjudication.

According to a previous report, a Polk County Sheriff's Office was patrolling the area near the Blanchard Baptist Church in Livingston, when he spotted Morales' vehicle parked between two of the buildings on the church's property.

When the deputy tried to make contact with the occupants of the vehicle, he was "surprised to see them putting their clothes back on. The deputy made Morales get out of the vehicle, and at that point, he learned that Morales is 26 and the girl in the car with him is 15.

Both Morales and his alleged victim admitted to having sex.

According to Texas' criminal code, a child under the age of 17 cannot legally give consent to have sex.

District Attorney Lee Hon said the two had an ongoing relationship and on that night the girl had sneaked out of her home to meet Morales. When confronted by the deputy, she at first said she was 18. She later said she was 16. Then, the mother ultimately reported she was 15.

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