Victoria man sentenced to life without parole for child sexual abuse

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

June 6, 2013 at 1:06 a.m.
Updated June 7, 2013 at 1:07 a.m.

A Victoria man who fled from police after he was accused of sexually abusing and impregnating his 12-year-old stepdaughter will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Opting for a trial before a judge, Panfilo Jose Perez Jr., 41, was found guilty Thursday of continuous sexual abuse of a child and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Judge Robert C. Cheshire of the 377th district court also convicted Perez of two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child sexual conduct, the latter of which was related to the sexual abuse of his other stepdaughter, 11.

Perez was given 20-year prison sentences for each of those charges.

Perez babysat the children while their mother worked two jobs to make ends meet. Perez's 12-year-old stepdaughter told her mother about the abuse after she became pregnant, said Eli Garza, first assistant criminal district attorney.

When Perez's arrest warrant was issued in November, he tried to run away to Mexico. The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office caught up with him in January when it responded to an unrelated dispute at a home in Cuero. One of the people they were arresting or questioning at the scene told deputies Perez was wanted. The man had seen Perez on a Crime Stoppers report and wanted to take the focus off himself, although he did not qualify for the reward, Garza said.

A Taylor woman also testified during the punishment phase of the trial that Perez sexually abused her when she was 6 years old in 2000.

Perez's attorney, Chris Iles, could not be reached for comment Thursday.



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