Family of 5 yr old sexually abused by teen calls punishment an injustice

The teenage boy who lured a 5-year-old girl away from a barbeque and onto an abandoned lot in Harlingen where he touched her genitals for his own sexual gratification last September will be headed to a juvenile sex offender treatment facility near Austin for 6 months. Other terms of the plea deal reached for the now 16-year-old in court included: counseling, probation until he's 18 and a no contact order with anyone under 16 except while at school. He admitted to improper sexual contact with a child under 17. Two other counts were dropped. The victim's parents wanted him to register as a sex offender. In a letter partially read in court, they talked about the nightmares their daughter still has to this day.

The mother broke down while talking about her little girl TMs innocence lost with the sexual abuse and subsequent testing for STD's along with signs of rape.

She added how the perpetrator will be getting a vacation, not punishment, at the Pegasus Center where there's hiking, swimming and fishing. The victim TMs father feared the justice system would fail the family during an exclusive interview with Action 4 News shortly after the crime. "I heard where they have harsher penalties for drugs," he said back in September. "But this was a sex crime, and not just a minor, a child, my baby." That fear came true for him in court Friday. The judge opted not to order the teen, who has no prior criminal record, to register as a sex offender because he didn't want to "screw up his life forever." It TMs a harsh reality for a family who says they're forced to live with a lifetime of pain. They plan to advocate the Texas Legislature for a harsher punishment for juvenile predators. Their attorney would not allow them to speak to Action 4 News after the ruling on Friday because of a pending civil suit linked to the case. An attorney for the juvenile offender had no comment.

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Judge thank you for allowing us to be able to speak in your court this afternoon.Although I would never have wished to endure this nightmare, we are here.This past Labor Day weekend my little girl TMs life and that of my family changed forever.My 5 year old baby girl endured something she should never have gone through, but for whatever reason [NAME OMITTED] decided to prey on my little girl and take away her innocence, her spirit and trust and replaced it with nightmares, uneasiness and fear.

We trusted [NAME OMITTED] and he broke that trust when he decided to take her into that field and sexually abuse her.While the court has its different perspective on how far that abuse went, any kind of abuse should not be tolerated, much less be dismissed as a slap on the wrist.[NAME OMITTED] has endured nothing, but a couple of days in juvenile detention.Sending him to Pegasus is also not a punishment, he is getting sent to a place that will treat him as if he is on a vacation. Hiking, swimming, fishing and doing sports is in no way, shape or form a punishment for the crime he committed.

My daughter wakes up at nights, afraid her abuser will come to find her and hurt her for telling on him.She has restless nights, so extreme at time, that she cannot make school the next day| all thanks to him.My daughter had to undergo exams, that are for women because of him. She had to undergo STD testing because of him. She had to learn what is was to be violated and understand it at a very young age, because of him.

Through this entire ordeal, it is our opinion that he has been made the victim, that his needs have come before that of my daughter, who is the true victim in all of this, but somehow even those put in place to protect and defend her have seemed to forgotten.The system failed my daughter because laws don TMt protect her against predators like him, just because of his age| which all due respect, is unacceptable for us.While you can never really understand what we are going through, I ask you judge, with everything in me, to consider that [NAME OMITTED] register as a sex offender for his crime.

Thank you for your time.