Dallas jury gives man 99 years in prison for raping niece
A 42-year-old man recently pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The child he raped and beat was his teenage niece.
A Dallas jury of five men and seven women deliberated for just under two hours before they sentenced the man to a 99-year jail term and $10,000 fine. The man will not be eligible for parole for at least 30 years.
Court documents show the 2009 sexual assault took place in a Lake Highlands apartment complex where the girl’s mother lived. The prosecutor presented DNA evidence during the trial that linked the accused to the sexual assault.
Additional evidence showed rope marks on the wrists and ankles of the 13-year-old victim and duct tape containing the victim’s hair. The prosecuting attorney said the rope and tape were used to tie and silence the teenager. The alleged abuser then slammed the girl’s face into a wall, breaking her nose. He confined her to one room, continually beating his niece for four hours.
The defense lawyer admitted to the jury that his client’s actions were "monstrous" and attempted to convince the jury that the teenager’s testimony may have been an exaggeration.
A therapist for the rape victim testified that she had been treating the teenager for post-traumatic stress disorder since last year. The mental health professional told the court that the girl, now 16, has exhibited suicidal tendencies.
The therapist said the teenager showed visible panic symptoms when the girl realized that she would have to testify in court in the presence of her attacker – her uncle.
Source: Dallas Morning News, "Jury sentences man who assaulted teenage relative to 99 years in prison," Laura C. Morel, 28 July 2011.