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October 5, 2021

A Houston man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, without parole, for molesting a 12-year-old relative, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.

“Texas law mandates that when a predator is convicted of continuous sexual assault of a child, they are never allowed to be released on parole,” Ogg said. “This man will spend 50 years in prison, day-for-day, for repeatedly assaulting a 12-year-old.”

Aaron Philip Fernandez, 32, was convicted by a jury for continuous sexual abuse of a child from July 2017 to October 2017. He was sentenced Tuesday by a judge after a jury trial that lasted longer than a week.

Jurors heard that Fernandez began molesting the girl when she was 12 and continued for a year and a half, including sexual acts that happened in front of younger family members who witnessed the heinous acts.

In fact, prosecutors noted in court, Fernandez terrorized several children in a large extended family. He repeatedly beat children with a belt and an extension cord, and he slashed a male child with a knife and held a gun to the child’s head, court records show. The molestation victim eventually reported to a school counselor who alerted authorities.

“She was molested multiple times; it started as physical abuse and then turned sexual,” said Assistant District Attorney Edward Appelbaum of the Crimes Against Children Division who prosecuted the case. “The jury in this case made the right decision to protect this girl and the community from a dangerous and violent sexual predator.”

The case was investigated by the Houston Police Department.