A former Waco Police Department records department supervisor was sentenced to 52 years in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a family member for three years.
A 54th State District Court jury returned a verdict of 42 years in prison for 42-year-old Jose Isreal Ramos on the first count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and 10 years in prison and $5,000 fines for each of four counts of indecency with a child by contact.
Judge Matt Johnson granted a prosecution motion and ordered Ramos to serve one of the 10-year terms consecutively with the 42-year term, effectively sentencing him to 52 years in prison.
Defendants convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child face a minimum of 25 years in prison and are not entitled to parole, meaning Ramos must serve each day of his 42-year sentence plus at least half of the 10-year term before he can be eligible for release.
Jurors deliberated about seven hours Wednesday before convicting Ramos on the five counts but finding him not guilty on two other indecency with a child by contact counts. Jurors deliberated about 90 minutes Thursday to determine his punishment.
Ramos, who worked from 2010 to 2012 as records supervisor at the Waco Police Department, sexually abused a young family member starting when she was 10 in 2010 until 2013, when she reported the abuse to her grandmother.
Ramos, who testified Wednesday, denied the allegations and said the girl, now 17, is “disturbed” and in need of counseling.
Prosecutors Gabrielle Massey and Christi Hunting Horse asked the jury for significant sentences, saying Ramos turned the young girl into his personal sex toy to satisfy his dark, deviant desires.
“He deserves life for the things he did to her,” Massey said. “She is going to struggle with this forever, and that breaks my heart. She will be dealing with this for the rest of her life because of what he did.”
Defense attorneys Melanie Walker and Jessi Freud told the jury the Legislature stripped much of their discretion by setting a 25-year minimum and removing the possibility of parole in continuous sexual abuse of a child cases. Freud asked for the minimum sentence, telling jurors any number within the 25- to 99-year range equates to a death sentence for Ramos.
Walker and Freud declined comment after the trial.
In punishment-phase testimony, Lee Carter, a Waco psychologist, testified that the girl suffers from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and stress-related symptoms associated with prolonged sexual abuse.
Carter said she always will have trust issues, especially with men, and likely will look at every man from now on as a potential perpetrator. Her parenting style also likely will be affected by her experiences, and she could become overly protective of a daughter, he said.
“People throughout their lives, no matter if they are 12, 22, 42 or 62, are constantly asking themselves, ‘Who am I?’ Unfortunately, she will always have to resolve that she is a sexual abuse victim,” Carter said.
The girl reported that Ramos sexually assaulted her more than 30 times, with much of the abuse occurring at a home on Baylor Avenue.
In defense punishment testimony, two of Ramos’ brothers and a sister-in-law talked about their close-knit family and the toll the allegations have had on it.
Ramos has five brothers and one sister and they grew up in South Waco, they said.
“Never in a million years would I have thought that anything would have been said about my brother in this way,” Don Ramos, 29, said.