FROM STAFF REPORTS
BURNET — A Marble Falls man told the mother of an 11-year-old girl he was only trying to wake her for school when he touched the child inappropriately, but the mother, law enforcement, and now a Burnet County jury didn’t buy his explanation.
On June 5, the jury found Jacobo Ochoa Avalos, 52, guilty of indecency with a child by sexual contact and recommended he spend 12 years in prison for the crime. Burnet County District Judge Alan Garrett concurred and sentenced the man to the recommended amount of time.
“This verdict is another good example of people in this community putting another child predator behind bars and not tolerating offenders preying on our children,” said Burnet County District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee.
The conviction stemmed from an April 2016 incident at the victim’s Granite Shoals residence. Ochoa Avalos was described as a distant relative of the mother and had been allowed to sleep on the couch instead of driving himself home after drinking during a birthday party for another relative.
According to the district attorney’s office, sometime during the early morning hours, the defendant entered the girl’s bedroom and “put his hand in her shorts.” The action woke the victim, who was 11 years old at the time. The man rushed out of the room, telling another relative, “Let’s go, let’s go,” a district attorney’s media release stated.
Later that day, the girl’s mother confronted Ochoa Avalos about the incident, but he told her he was only waking the girl for school.
The incident happened on a Saturday, prosecutors pointed out.
Assistant district attorneys Amber Myers and Erin Toolan prosecuted the case with Michael Williams and Austin Shell of Shell & Shell Law Office serving as the defense team.
During her prosecution, Myers asked the jurors to imagine “how traumatizing it was for an 11-year-old to wake up to a man assaulting her and to send a message to the community that this type of behavior is not acceptable in Burnet County,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
The district attorney’s office also praised the victim and her family “for being brave enough to come forward and preventing this defendant from victimizing other children and bringing him to justice.”
McAfee and his team also thanked the Granite Shoals Police Department, Child Protective Services, and the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center for their help in this case.