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A 36-year-old Llano County man pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child in the 33rd Judicial District Court on Tuesday, May 9. Jesse Napolez was sentenced to 50 years in prison after accepting a deal from the state and waiving his right to an appeal.

He was originally charged with 15 felonies, including one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, four counts of sexual performance of a child under the age of 14, and seven counts of possession of child pornography. 

The charges of sexual performance of a child and possession of child pornography were waived as part of the plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.

The victim, a relative of Napolez, came forward in July 2022 to report the abuse, which they said began when they were 8 years old. The Llano Police Department investigated the claims and scheduled a victim’s interview with the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center. The Texas Rangers obtained search warrants, which led to the discovery of child pornography on the defendant’s phone.

All 15 felonies potentially added up to hundreds of years in prison with convictions. Napolez chose to take the 50-year deal offered by the state. He will have to serve at least 25 years in prison before he is eligible to seek parole.

“The hearing today shows so many in our community that when a victim comes forward to disclose abuse, there is an entire team of law enforcement, medical staff, community partners, and prosecutors who are ready to listen and seek justice for that survivor,” said Tiffany Clark, the 33rd and 424th Judicial District assistant district attorney, in a media release.

Contact the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center for help or resources regarding child abuse in the Highland Lakes at 512-756-2607. Call 911 for immediate assistance or emergencies.

dakota@thepicayune.com