A former Waco Police Department records department supervisor was convicted Wednesday of sexually abusing a family member over a three-year period.
Jurors in Waco’s 54th State District Court deliberated about seven hours before convicting Jose Isreal Ramos of continuous sexual abuse of a child and four counts of indecency with a child by contact. The jury acquitted Ramos on two additional counts of indecency with a child by contact.
The punishment phase of the trial begins Thursday morning. Ramos, 42, faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and up to life with no parole on the first charge and up to 20 years in prison on the remaining counts.
Ramos, who works at a diaper-manufacturing plant, worked as records supervisor for the Waco Police Department from January 2010 to June 2012 and is a former nursing student.
The jury convicted him of abusing a family member starting when she was 10 in 2010, until she reported the abuse in 2013.
Ramos, the defense’s sole witness Wednesday, denied the allegations, calling the girl, who is now 17, “disturbed” and in need of psychological care.
Jurors sent a note to Judge Matt Johnson at about 5 p.m., after about four-and-a-half hours of deliberations, saying, “We do not have 100 percent agreement and so much anger, we would like to adjourn and resume in the morning.”
Once a jury begins deliberating, it cannot separate without the approval of both parties. Defense attorneys Melanie Walker and Jessi Freud declined to allow the jury to separate, so the judge instructed them to keep deliberating.
Freud had encouraged the jury to look closely at counts six and seven, arguing the girl’s testimony did not support guilty findings on those two counts.
Ramos said the girl likely concocted the allegations against him to deflect from serious trouble she was in at school. He said she and another girl were caught passing around a note in which she said she was going to run away from home with a friend who the note said was considering suicide.
Ramos and the girl’s mother took the girl to her grandmother, so the elder woman could talk to her about her problems. It was while she was at her grandmother’s house that the girl reported that Ramos had been sexually assaulting her for three years.
“My first thought was not to overreact because I was angry,” Ramos said, describing how he felt when told of the allegations. “I was upset, my heart was racing. There was a lot going through my mind. It was just total nonbelief. She does things to get what she wants, but I never believed she would do this to me.”
The girl testified reluctantly Tuesday, telling the jury that what she told her grandmother and the medical director for the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children about the long-term abuse was true.
The girl reported that Ramos told her that she was helping to prevent him from “getting cancer down there” by performing oral sex on him. She also reported he forced her to have oral sex in the parking lot at the Baylor University track and field facility and to mimic scenes from pornographic movies he made her watch with him.
She also reported Ramos sexually assaulted her more than 30 times.
In closing statements Wednesday, Ramos’ attorneys reminded jurors of testimony that showed the girl lied to a Child Protective Services worker about her mother striking her on the face and that she and friends at school conspired to falsely accuse a teacher they didn’t like of sexual misconduct.
Prosecutors Gabrielle Massey and Christi Hunting Horse told the jury there would not be as much detail in the girl’s reports if she simply made up the allegations to get out of trouble. They asked what she had gained by reporting the abuse and by having to come into a courtroom full of strangers to talk about it.