AZLE (CBSDFW.COM) – A man whose sleeping 12-year-old victim woke up as he groped her breasts was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Herbert Gerald Peterson, 38, called Azle police, telling them, “I groped a 12-year-old girl” and asked them to come and arrest him.
Petersen pled guilty to an indecency with a child charge.
“You changed my life in a heavy way. I wake up in tears and crying. I won’t sleep with my door open,” the girl told Peterson in a victim impact statement read after sentencing was completed. “It’s so hard for me to trust and not be scared away from home… I really do hope you have learned your lesson on this.”
The fact that the defendant admitted committing the offense hasn’t necessarily made the offense any easier on the child.
“About a year later, our victim continues to have nightmares and has difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, which is not surprising since this offense began when she was sleeping,” Swain said. “She has suffered from depression and has had difficulty trusting others. Unfortunately, these are symptoms of sexual abuse suffered by far too many victims.”
Under Texas parole law, Peterson will not be eligible for release for prison for at least five years.
“Honestly, I’ve never had a case quite like this,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, who handled the case for the prosecution. “Usually, 911 calls are made by the victim or a witness, not by the person who commits the crime and then wants to be arrested. I think he knew he was busted and must have wanted to own up to what he had done.”