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Stories Added - August 2008
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Ortiz sentenced to 18 years for indecency with 7-year-old girl
Polk County Enterprise - August 2008

LIVINGSTON — A Polk County Jury sentenced David Kent Ortiz, 42 of Killeen, to 18 years in prison and assessed a $10,000 fi ne on Tuesday following a two-day trial before Judge Elizabeth Coker in the 258th District Court. Ortiz, formerly of Montgomery County, had been indicted by a Polk County Grand Jury in December for indecency with a child, a second degree felony, stemming from an incident that occurred on July 24, 2007 in the Onalaska area involving a 7-year-old female victim. During the trial, the victim said she had spent the night with her mother who was dating Ortiz at the time. Early in the morning, the victim was sleeping in the living room when Ortiz entered the room and touched her in a sexual manner with his hand. Other witnesses at trial included the victim’s father, to whom the child originally reported the molestation, the victim’s mother; and Polk County Sheriff’s Detective Craig Finegan who had conducted the investigation. In addition, Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Investigator Shauna Farrar testifi ed regarding a forensic interview she conducted of the victim. On cross-examination, Ortiz denied molesting the child but admitted that he had been using crystal methamphetamine during the night before the incident. The jury deliberated barely 30 minutes Tuesday afternoon before returning a guilty verdict to the single count indictment. During the punishment phase of the trial, Ortiz returned to the witness stand and said that he “agreed with the jury’s verdict.” Ortiz next conceded that he had, in fact, looked beneath the child’s panties but denied touching her in a sexual manner. On cross-examination by Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon, Ortiz confessed that he probably had an “abnormal interest in young girls” and stated that he “needed help.” The jury deliberated about 40 minutes before returning with the near maximum sentence of 18 years and a steep fi ne. The punishment range for this offense is two to 20 years imprisonment. Ortiz will have to serve a minimum of nine years in prison before he may be considered for parole. Upon release, Ortiz will also be subject to a lifetime registration requirement as a sex offender. After the trial, Hon said that he was “extremely pleased” with the jury’s verdict and felt that it sent a “tough message that the people of Polk County are fed up with the sexual victimization of children.” “If there is any segment of our society that deserves to be protected by our laws from those who would seek to do them harm, it is our children” Hon said. “The Polk County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of T.D.P.R.S, put together a strong case and should be commended.” In addition, Hon commended “an especially brave little girl who had the strength and courage to come forward and tell what happened so Ortiz might be brought to justice.”

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