Marble Falls man guilty of indecency

Judge sentences Ochoa Avalos to 12 years in prison on jury recommendation

A Burnet County jury needed less than an hour of deliberation before returning a guilty verdict against a Marble Falls man accused of indecency with a child by sexual contact.

Jacobo Ochoa Avalos, 52, was sentenced Tuesday, June 5, to 12 years in prison by District Court Judge Allan Garrett in accordance with a recommendation from the jury. The crime, a second-degree felony, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The charges stemmed from an April 2016 incident at the female victim’s residence in Granite Shoals when she was just 11 years old. The defendant was a distant relative of the victim’s mother, who had permitted Ochoa Avalos to sleep on the couch rather than drive home after drinking at another cousin’s birthday celebration.

During the early morning hours, the defendant entered the victim’s bedroom and put his hand in her shorts, waking her up in the process. When the girl awoke, the defendant rushed out of the room, telling the victim’s uncle, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”

After being confronted by the girl’s mother later that same day, the defendant used the excuse that he was waking the child up for school, even though it was a Saturday.

The case was prosecuted by assistant district attorneys Amber Myers and Erin Toolan. The defendant was represented by Michael Williams and Austin Shell of the Shell & Shell Law Office. Myers asked the jurors to imagine how traumatizing it was for an 11-year-old to wake up to a man assaulting her and to send a message to the community that this type of behavior is not acceptable in Burnet County.

This verdict is another good example of people in this community putting another child predator behind bars and not tolerating offenders preying on our children,” said Burnet County District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee.

All members of the District Attorney’s Office have expressed their gratitude, not only to the Granite Shoals Police Department, Child Protective Services, and the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center for their hard work on the case, but also to the victim and her family for being brave enough to come forward to prevent this defendant from victimizing other children and bringing him to justice.

Ochoa Avalos has one prior conviction in Burnet County for a Class A theft in 2012.

Editor's Note: The Highlander does not identify by name the victims of sexual assault or child victims of crime in order to encourage victims to feel comfortable enough to speak up and report these crimes. The Highlander will only use the name of a victim of these types of crime in a story with the victim's permission.

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