Refugio man convicted of indecency with a child; sentenced to 5 years in prison

Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:30 a.m.

A Refugio man was sentenced to five years in prison Friday after a DeWitt County jury found him guilty of indecency with a child.

But before the punishment hearing could begin, James Edward Repka, 45, of Refugio, changed his plea to guilty. The court set his punishment, instead of the jury.

The case originated in Refugio County but was tried in DeWitt County on a change of venue, District Attorney Mike Sheppard said in a news release. Sheppard's district includes DeWitt and Refugio counties.

A mistrial was declared in Refugio County in May 2010 when a jury was unable to reach a verdict.

After changing his plea, Repka took the stand and admitted that he was guilty of the crime. Repka also admitted he had lied during the first trial in Refugio and the trial in DeWitt County. He also admitted that the victim was telling the truth, according to the news release.

Repka apologized to the child and to the family. The victim was 11 years old at the time of the assault. She is 15 years old now.

During the trial, the jury heard from a second 11-year-old child who testified that Repka had asked her if she wanted him to be her boyfriend, according to the news release.

Repka is married and has three children.

Previously he worked as a state prison guard.

"We are very happy with the verdict of the jury and we are happy that the child in our case has been fully vindicated," Sheppard said. "It has been a long, hard road for her."



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