A Bell County jury in the 264th Judicial District Court deliberated for much of Wednesday night before returning a verdict early Thursday morning in a Killeen child sex case, an official said on Thursday.
“After 12 and a half hours of deliberation a jury this morning at approximately 2:30 a.m. returned a verdict finding Irving Torres guilty of indecency of a child by contact, a second-degree felony,” said Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza. “The jury convicted him of the lessor offense, as he was originally charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.”
Torres, 55, who had been out on bond, was taken into custody after the guilty verdict, said Assistant District Attorney Mike Waldman.
Waldman said Judge Paul LePak will sentence Torres at a sentencing hearing scheduled for the middle of May. He said that Torres is facing 2 to 20 years in prison with no possibility of probation.
The jury of eight men and four women on Tuesday heard testimony from the victim, now almost 17 years old. On the stand, she accused Torres of sexually abusing and assaulting her beginning in 2013, when she was around 10 years old. Abuse continued for a few years, worsening over time.
The state and defense each laid out the bones of their cases during opening statements on Tuesday. “When you listen to this young lady, you’ll have no doubt she’s telling the truth and was assaulted by that man, Irving Torres,” Waldman said, pointing sharply at Torres, who leaned forward with his hands clasped in front of him. “You’ll hear about what happened to her when she was in elementary school. You’ll hear about what she went through.”
Tom Seigman, defense attorney, said that nothing sexual happened.
“They had a playful, physical relationship where they tickled and wrestled,” he said to the jury.