BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – A man convicted of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child was sentenced to life in prison by a Brazos County jury on Friday.
42-year-old Leopoldo Pena was convicted on November 18 of this offense, according to a press release from the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office. Three young girls reported in April 2017 that Pena sexually abused them over the previous six years. All three girls were interviewed at Scotty’s House, a non-profit Child Advocacy Center in Bryan, as part of the investigation by the College Station Police Department.
The three girls initially told their mother about the abuse. When they were interviewed at Scotty’s House, they each gave details of the abuse, which they also testified to at trial. The jury also heard evidence of Pena’s apologies to the girls’ mother and the cell phone that he erased to prevent the discovery of evidence.
The District Attorney’s Office says that Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child is considered an aggravated first-degree felony with a punishment range of 25 years to 99 years or life in prison. The sentence is required to be served straight – meaning there is no possibility of parole.
The jury trial in this case started on November 14. The jury heard testimony for the remainder of the week before hearing closing arguments and returning a verdict on Friday, November 18, after deliberating for about five hours.
The jury returned on Friday, December 2, to hear punishment evidence after a break due to the holiday week and the court’s schedule. The jury sentenced Pena to life in prison after just over two hours of deliberation.
The District Attorney’s Office says the State of Texas was represented in this case by Assistant District Attorneys Kara Comte and Kristin Burns, Investigator James “Woody” Woodward and Victim Assistance Coordinator Shae Cooks.