A church volunteer youth worker was sentenced to serve eighteen years in a Texas prison after his conviction on charges of sexual assault of a child.
Nilson Daniel Vargas served as a volunteer youth worker at the Christian City Fellowship church in Sealy, Texas. Vargas, 40, pleaded guilty in the 506th District Court in Waller County, District Attorney Elton Mathis told Breitbart Texas on Friday evening. Sealy is located in Austin County about fifty miles west of Houston on Interstate 10.
Vargas was arrested in January 2015 after he was accused of molesting a 16-year-old boy. The molestation occurred in the boy’s home in Waller County in December 2008. The incidents began when the boy was 13, court records stated.
“This brings some closure to nearly two years of pain for the victims and their families,” Mathis told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Friday. “I hope faith leaders are finally getting the point that we must be hyper-vñigilant in watching those that come into contact with our children in places of worship….the very places they should be their safest. Children must be actively counseled on what is appropriate and what is not.”
Judge Albert McCaig handed down the 18-year sentence on Friday. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mia Magness in the 506th District Clerk. The maximum sentence for the 2nd Degree Felony charge is 20 years in prison. Judge McCaig said he lowered the sentence by two years because Vargas had voluntarily entered treatment on his own prior to the conviction, Mathis said.
Vargas was represented by defense attorney Paul Looney, according to a Houston Chronicle article from last year. Looney said that Vargas had approached him in 2014 and admitted he had a problem with abusing children and wanted to stop. Vargas turned himself in to authorities and then checked himself into a treatment facility. He subsequently confessed to investigators in Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith’s office.
District Attorney Mathis told Breitbart Texas that Vargas had a successful career as a white collar worker at a petroleum company and had never been in trouble before. Mathis said the man was using the church to befriend and groom the boys, leading them to the improper sexual activities. Vargas’ wife testified against him. He said the incidents began when the boys were in their early teens and continued for multiple years.
Looney said Vargas had no prior criminal history. He was originally charged with “improperly touching” at least two young males. He eventually “performed oral sex on them,” the district attorney’s office reported.
The molestation of the boys occurred both in the church and at other locations. Rev. Rusty Griffin told the Houston Chronicle reporters, “You know you wish you could just make it go away or pray that it goes away but you’ve got to deal with it. It’s a fact. This is what happened.”