A Seguin man was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for sexually abusing a child.Saturnino Gutierrez Jr., 37, was given the sentence by 25th Judicial District Judge William D. Old III, after a jury found him guilty in March of continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14.
“That is the longest sentence we could have gotten and its the only appropriate sentence,” prosecutor Jennifer Smith said following the punishment hearing. “There is no indication that he would ever stop if he had access to kids again.”
After his punishment was announced, Gutierrez began yelling at his accuser’s family before he was forcefully removed from the courtroom.
“You took my life away,” he yelled.
Defense attorney James Millan said that despite the verdict and sentence, Gutierrez’s fight is far from over.
“Saturnino Gutierrez maintains his innocence,” he said. “He is going to pursue an appeal. I’m sorry it turned out the way it did.”
In 2014, a 12-year-old victim made an outcry that Gutierrez sexually abused her hundreds of times. In March, the allegations were tried before a jury, which convicted him of the crime.
On Thursday, Old heard arguments from both sides on their recommendations for punishment.
During the hearing, Smith called a pair of witness to testify— both family members of Gutierrez’s — who alleged they also were victims of the defendant.
Smith claimed that because the defendant was familiar to the victims, the crime was more egregious.
“These are children who looked up to him as a (family member) or looked up to him as a father-figure,” she said. “These aren’t strangers. Those children, two of which are adults, are never ever going to be able to reclaim that innocence again. No matter what they do in their lives, they are always going to remember this ... and there will be no amount of memory eraser to get rid of that. What that means is for those three innocent children, those are life sentences. Punishment that fits the crime and, for this defendant, is life.”
County Attorney David Willborn commended everyone who was involved for bringing justice to the victim.
“The world is full of monsters. It takes a select group of people to get together and try to fight those monsters to keep everybody else safe,” he said. “I’m proud of the people in my office that do that. My Family Justice Unit which included the two people who tried this case — Jennifer Smith and Heather Wright — did their best to hold themselves together emotionally and do the right thing. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the judge for making the determination to send this man to prison forever to try and keep the people in our community, and the rest of the world, safe.”
VERNON, TX (KAUZ) -
A Crowell man is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Wednesday evening concluding a two-day jury trial in Foard County.
Ronald Ray Chappell, 59, was convicted of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. The abuse is believed to have taken place in January and May of 2016.
Two Crowell ISD students testified on Tuesday afternoon who stated the victim told them about the sexual abuse during a church outing.
Those students informed their parents who reached out to the Foard County Sheriff's Office.
The victim was taken to Patsy's House Children's Advocacy Center in Wichita Falls for a forensic interview. The 13-year-old girl told the interviewer that she had been sexually assaulted by Chappell on multiple occasions.
A sexual assault exam conducted at United Regional Hospital verified the trauma consistent with sexual abuse.
The Texas Rangers assisted in the investigation. On May 12, 2016, a Texas Ranger interviewed Chappell who originally denied the sexual abuse claims but eventually admitted to the acts claiming they were accidents or unintended.
It took the jury less than fifteen minutes this Wednesday to find Chappell guilty. During the punishment phase, DA Staley Heatly showed prior judgments showing Chappell had been convicted of three prior felonies including Rape and Injury to a Child.
District Judge Mike Bird stacked the two sentences so that once will not commence until the other one is served.
Jury takes 15 minutes to find Crowell man guilty of sexual assault April 20th 2017 Samantha Forester
PITTSFIELD — A Lanesborough man is free on recognizance after being arraigned on nearly 20 counts, including multiple charges of child rape and indecent assault and battery involving two different victims.
Steve W. Trybus, 47, appeared before Judge Daniel Ford Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court and entered not guilty pleas to two separate sets of charges.
In one set, involving a a woman who is now 23 years old, Trybus entered not guilty pleas to three counts of rape and abuse of a child without force, eight counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.
Those incidents occurred in Pittsfield between March 3, 2006 and March 2, 2009.
In the second set of charges, Trybus entered not guilty pleas to one count of rape and abuse of a child without force, four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and one count each of open and gross lewdness and intimidation of a witness.
Those charges involve a woman who is now 18 years old and occurred in Pittsfield between Feb. 18, 2005 and Feb. 17, 2006.
Trybus was released on his own recognizance with the condition he have no contact with the alleged victims.
He is due back in court on Sept. 13 for a pretrial hearing.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.