A Burnet County man received 22 years in prison for sexual assault of a child on Sept. 21. A local jury gave 22-year-old Matthew Wright 11 years for each of the three counts. Judge Allen Garrett ruled that two of the three sentences would be served consecutively, effectively making it a 22-year sentence.
Wright will not be eligible for parole until half of his sentence has been served.
Evidence presented in court established that Wright, a friend of the victim’s family, sexually assaulted the child for several months in 2019. The victim told her family about the assault in the spring of 2020, and they immediately went to law enforcement.
“This young lady had the courage to come forward and share her story and to stick with the process while waiting for her day in court,” said Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Clark, a prosecutor on the case. “This case could not have gone forward without her bravery.”
While Wright was charged in early 2020, the case did not go to trial until September of this year. According to Clark, it is common for cases to take 12-15 months to go to court, but the COVID-19 pandemic added to the delay.
“It puts a lot of pressure on these kids to have to just wait,” Clark explained. “Life is still happening for them, and when they share, it opens that book back up.”
Clark said the victim’s bravery and her family’s quick action were crucial to the case’s outcome.