FORT BEND COUNTY JUDGE EVALUATES LIFE SENTENCE IN CONTINUING SEXUAL ABUSE CASE | police beat
RICHMOND — On March 29, 2022, the day he was scheduled to stand trial by jury, Ivan Alejandro Robles pleaded guilty to the charge of continuous sexual abuse of a young child before the Honorable J. Christian Becerra of the 434th District Court judicial. The 41-year-old from Sugar Land elected the court to assess his sentence following a penalty hearing.
Evidence presented by Fort Bend County Assistant District Attorneys Jessica Ramos and Tristyl McInnis showed that on the night of January 5, 2019, a woman called 911 and told the operator she was going to shoot Robles. . After further questioning by the 911 operator, the caller revealed that she had caught Robles sexually assaulting her 13-year-old daughter at her Sugar Land home. The caller held Robles at gunpoint until the police arrived. Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Detective Justin Harris conducted the investigation, took witness statements and obtained material evidence critical to the prosecution of this case.
The surviving child testified at the punishment hearing. She provided powerful and heartbreaking details of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Robles, which began when she was around five years old. His testimony described a progression of violence that escalated over an eight-year period. The abuse included a depraved method of punishment that the accused inflicted on the child when she refused his instructions to perform certain sexual acts. The painful testimony also revealed that the survivor began contemplating suicide at the age of ten to escape abuse.
The defendant’s attorney requested leniency on Robles’ behalf, explaining that the defendant had assumed responsibility by pleading guilty to the charge and had no criminal history. The defense asked the court to sentence Robles to a minimum of 25 years in prison.
In her closing argument in court, lead prosecutor Jessica Ramos argued that the survivor was denied a childhood because Robles chose to inflict her vile sexual desires on the victim at such a young age. Ramos ended his closing argument by asking the Court to impose a life sentence so that Robles must endure the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life, just as the victim should suffer the trauma caused by the abuse of the accused for the rest of his life.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Becerra sentenced Robles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“Anyone who listened to the victim’s testimony was emotionally shaken,” Ramos said. “I asked the victim how she felt after bravely confronting her attacker in court. She said she felt free. You could see the burden lift off her young shoulders. I couldn’t be more proud of her for the courage she showed during her testimony.
Prosecutor Tristyl McInnis added: ‘The act of abusing a child defies belief, but it happens every day. The conviction in this case sends a strong message about what awaits predators who abuse children.
“The Fort Bend County Attorney’s Office works tirelessly to protect vulnerable members of our community, which most often include women and children. We zealously and tirelessly seek justice for victims of abuse. We will seek the harshest sentence for child predators, as we did in this case,” District Attorney Brian Middleton said. “Unfortunately, we cannot undo the harm that has been done to this child, but we can ensure that she never has to fear that this defendant will harm her again. The imposition by the judge of a life sentence was just and the result of a mother’s fierce love for her child, the child’s courage to face the accused and the hard work of law enforcement Justice has been served.”
The continued sexual abuse of a young child is a first-degree felony punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison, without the possibility of parole, and a fine of up to $10,000.