FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County jurors deliberated for about 45 minutes before sentencing a Fort Worth man to life in prison without parole for sexually assaulting a family friend’s 5-year-old girl.
Jail records show Eduardo Espinoza, 28, was arrested on Jan. 23 for a crime he committed on Feb. 14, 2011. Espinoza attended a small Valentine’s Day party at a cousin of his girlfriend’s.
In a release, Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Melody McDonald said Espinoza drank too much and was allowed to spend the night at the home.
At about 3 a.m., the female resident used the restroom and checked on her 5-year-old daughter. She found the girl on her bed with the covers pulled over her head.
McDonald said the mother pulled down the covers and found her daughter awake and naked from the waist down.
The mother found Espinoza “lying on the floor, partially in her daughter’s bedroom.”
Prosecutors said the girl told her mother Espinoza, whom she referred to as “Lalo,” took off her pants and underwear while she was asleep.
The mother called police. McDonald said investigators ran a DNA test on the girl’s panties and found Espinoza’s DNA.
“Because the child was under six at the time she was abused, Espinoza faced a punishment range of 25 years to life in prison without parole,” McDonald wrote in the release.
The jury spent a half hour convicting Espinoza of the crime and 45 minutes assessing the maximum punishment for his crime –– life in prison without parole.