A Texas man has received a sentence of life in prison following his conviction on two counts of sexual assault of a child. The man had previously been convicted of sexually assaulting another child in 1993.
Ernest Amaya Landin, Jr., 41, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in a Texas prison following his conviction in Fort Bend County, Texas. Landin had previously been convicted in 1993 for aggravated sexual assault, according to a statement from Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healy obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Prosecutors in the case proved that the defendant had been hired by the child’s parents to perform construction work in January 2010. While carrying out that project, Landin began a friendship with the family and was allowed to live in the family’s home for some period of time. During that period, Landin befriended the teenage girl and manipulated her into performing sexual acts with him.
The investigation began in 2010 when the mother of the child found Landin kissing her daughter. At that time, the daughter denied any sexual contact because she was afraid of her mother’s opinion and she wanted to protect the Landin.
Evidence in the case showed that Landin “groomed” the child and manipulated her into a sexual relationship. Some of those grooming acts included telling her “she was beautiful, that he loved her, and he wanted to be with her,” the DA’s statement revealed. At one point the child attempted to stop the sexual activity. Landin told her he would stop being her friend and that her parents would find out what she had done.
Fiona Remko, Program Director of the Fort Bend Child Advocates Center, testified that disclosure of sexual abuse is a process, and it is not uncommon for children to initially minimize or deny abuse and then later disclose it, according to the statement from the DA.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Gregg said in the statement, “It is not easy for people to tell when someone has sexually abused them, and it is very emotional when the abuse occurred when the person was a child. The perpetrator in this case is going to prison for life and I hope children know that adults do listen when they tell.”
During a pre-trial hearing, not in front of the jury, the now adult victim from Landin’s 1993 sexual assault testivied about what Landin had done to her.
Lead prosecutor Natalie McKinnon indicated that child abuse cases are among the most difficult to prosecute. This is because the crimes happen in secret with only the child as a witness. Requiring the child to testify in court often complicates the prosecution process.
“The trials of child abuse cases involve facts that are difficult for adults, let alone children, to talk about. We are extremely proud of the witnesses who testified in this case. We commend the strength it took for them to reveal the truth. When they stood up for themselves, they stood up for other child victims of abuse.”
In addition to his conviction in a 1993 aggravated sexual assault case, also in Fort Bend County, court records revealed that Landin also had a 2004 conviction for aggravated assault in neighboring Harris County (Houston).
“Texas law provides that a person who commits Sexual Assault of a Child be sentenced to Life imprisonment if the individual has been previously convicted of another sexual offense committed against a child,” the DA’s statement revealed.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.