Dying man gets life and 40 years after pleading to 15 child sex assaults | Community Alert
The victim has waited 22 years for justice, and after having the chance to tell a jury on Tuesday how Ruben Villarreal Escobedo sexually assaulted her relentlessly for years – starting when she was 9 – jurors have deliberated two hours before handing over Escobedo, 67, who has stage 4 prostate cancer, life plus 40 years in prison.
In Judge Dib Waldrip’s 433rd District Court on Tuesday, his testimony, along with prosecutors’ impassioned appeals urging jurors not to extend Escobedo’s current probation, made the difference. The eight men and four women, including the alternates, ensured that he never again approached the prey of a child.
The victim, now a successful insurance specialist in San Antonio, said she was sorry for anyone who had cancer, but admitted it was ‘karma’ that came back to Escobedo, who was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer after receiving a 15-count indictment from a Comal County grand jury on February 14, 2018.
In 2014, a Guadalupe County grand jury charged Escobedo with 23 similar counts, which resulted in his 2017 guilty plea to one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child — for which he received eight years probation and 200 hours of community service.
“No, I wasn’t happy with what they gave her,” the woman said.
Now 31, she recalled Escobedo’s abuse – starting with mutual genital touching at 9, then having sex at 12, and beyond before she started fighting back at 16 year.
After a jury convened on Monday, Escobedo pleaded guilty to the 15 counts contained in his latest indictment – four counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault of a child, six counts of sexual assault on a child and five for indecency with sexual contact with children.
He alleged that most of the assaults took place against the victim between Oct. 7, 2002 and Oct. 7, 2005, although charges in Comal and Guadalupe counties allege incidents as early as 1999 and as late as 2007.
“The jury sentenced Escobedo to the maximum sentence on all 15 counts,” District Attorney Jennifer Tharp said, adding that Escobedo received concurrent life sentences on all four counts. first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child, and 20 years for six counts. sexual assault of a child and five counts of indecency with sexual contact with a child. Tharp said the jury assessed $10,000 on each of 15 counts.
“When Judge Waldrip accepted the jury verdict, he piled a total of 40 years on the first life sentence,” Tharp said. “The message from the jury and the judge could not be clearer about how this community has no tolerance for child molesters.
“In his closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Floyd argued that Escobedo was a predator and had ‘committed evil after evil after evil.’ It was a choice he made that deserved punishment. important.
The victim told the jury that she defeated a mother and her two brothers who were constantly in jail and in jail for drugs. She said her mother got involved with Escobedo when she was 1.5 years old and when she was 9, he was the only one who could spare her from foster care.
“I knew even then that no one else would be there to greet me,” she said.
The abuse, she said, began almost immediately after she moved into Escobedo’s McQueeney home.
He would touch her and make her touch him, she said.
Floyd asked how often the abuse happened over a week.
“All the time,” she said. “I would say five out of seven days a week.”
She testified that she and Escobedo left her home and welding shop in McQueeney and lived in the Canyon Lake area when she started menstruating around her 12th birthday in 2002.
“He said I was a woman now, so at that point he started going further,” she said.
Two years later, he pushed into other types of sex acts.
“It hurt – and that’s when I started getting angry and acting out at school,” she said.
Escobedo bought her a truck when she turned 16 and she worked two jobs – combining 30 hours a week – while still in high school.
“I learned to defend myself,” she said before crying softly. “I always thought that if I could hold out until I was 18, I could escape.”
She said she was avoiding Escobedo, who got angry because she had a boyfriend – which was not the best decision, she said, because he began to physically abuse her. But he convinced her to talk to the authorities in Escobedo, which led her to go to a shelter in 2013.
“I couldn’t rely on anyone because everyone was trying to hurt me,” she said, remembering the aunts who later moved into the house she shared with Escobedo. She said he started sleeping with at least one of them. Her cousin, around the same age, tried to tell one of the aunts that she had been abused by Escobedo.
“My aunts and my grandmother – they didn’t believe it,” she said. “None of them were trustworthy either.”
The victim said she endured long waits — including 38 trials involving Escobedo in Guadalupe County and 27 in Comal County — to arrive on Tuesday.
“I don’t even want to look in his direction right now,” she said. “There was no closure to that. It started when I was 9 and I’ve been waiting for justice for 22 years for what he did to me.
Alex Scharff, Escobedo’s attorney, urged the jury to extend the deferred judgment against Escobedo because “any jail time would be a life sentence.” Escobedo’s daughter, a retired military officer, mother and nurse, has been her father’s caretaker since her diagnosis. She also urged jurors to have mercy on her father.
After the trial, Escobedo, who silently accepted the sentence, was returned to custody after being released on $165,000 bail since his release from Comal County Jail on March 12, 2018.
“I am proud of the excellent work of ADAs Daniel Floyd and Sarah Van Sciver, Registrar Jamie Mueller and Victim Assistance Coordinator Elva Brenner,” Tharp said. “They put in countless hours to ensure our victim received the justice he deserved.”