Man gets 35 years for sexual assault of disabled boy at public library

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A 26-year-old man who molested a 12-year-old boy suffering from autism and other medical conditions was sentenced to 35 years Monday as part of a plea bargain.

Javier Perez appeared before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell with Clayton Haas of the Bowie County Public Defenders Office and entered a plea of guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said the state and defense have agreed upon a sentence of 35 years for the crime which is punishable by up to life in prison.

Perez was arrested at a local homeless shelter last July after staff at the Texarkana Public Library became alarmed after seeing him enter a public bathroom with the boy. A male staff member entered the bathroom and yelled out after noticing two people’s feet in one stall. The boy reported later that Perez pulled his pants down after the boy refused to pull them down himself. Perez sexually assaulted the boy in the bathroom and then fled after being confronted by library staff.

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Tidwell asked Crisp if the prosecution has been in touch with the family of the victim regarding the proposed plea deal. Crisp said that she has had numerous calls with the boy’s family and that they prefer to resolve this case with a plea to spare the young victim the trauma of facing Perez in court and testifying at a public trial.

“He is a special needs child with autism and medical conditions that are ongoing,” Crisp said. “He is very traumatized by what happened to him.”

Tidwell spoke of the victim when he agreed to approve the plea bargain.

“This child has been put through so much. The court doesn’t want to put him through more so I’m going to accept the plea,” Tidwell said. “I cannot wrap my mind around what this child is going through. For the next 35 years, I want you to think about that child.”

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