TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A 45-year-old man in Tarrant County was sentenced to life without parole Thursday for sexually abusing a 5-year-old relative.
Jurors deliberated about 20 minutes on Wednesday before convicting Julio Ortiz Chavarria of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under six — a charge that doesn’t carry parole eligibility.
During the trial in state district Judge Everett Young’s court, prosecutors Melinda Westmoreland and Allenna Bangs presented evidence that on August 19, 2011, a 5- year-old little girl told her mother that Chavarria had sexually assaulted her. The victim’s mother took her to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and police were called.
“This defendant has a pattern of taking things that don’t belong to him,” said Prosecutor Melinda Westmoreland. “This time he took something that we can never get back — the innocence of a child.”
It took police some time to locate Chavarria, but his truck was later found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot in Arlington. A warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the sexual assault.
He was later captured in California and Chavarria was extradited to Texas to face charges.
During the punishment phase of his trial, prosecutors presented evidence of Chavarria’s prior criminal history, which included five convictions out of California for robbery, drugs and theft.
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