By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE - A Copperas Cove man was sentenced to 10 years in state jail and 10 years of probation at the conclusion of a nearly two-weeklong sexual assault trial that ended late Wednesday.

A Coryell County jury sentenced Mark Anthony Aponte, 42, on two sexual assault charges and three charges of indecency with a child. Each sexual assault charge carried a five-year prison sentence and the three indecency with a child charges were weighted with 10 years of probation.

Judge Trent Farrell, of the 52nd District Court, ordered Aponte's sentences be served consecutively.

"The trial started last Monday and ended last night," said Coryell County District Attorney David Castillo Thursday. "There was just a lot of information that needed to be provided to the jury ... this was a serious case. Sexual assaults are something that everyone wants to make sure they have all the information on."

According to arrest complaints filed in October 2009, Aponte sexually assaulted a girl numerous times from the time she was 4 years old. The girl reported the incidents when she turned 15.

The girl told to police and a forensic interviewer that the sexual abuse took place in Aponte's home and van.

The Copperas Cove Police Department originally filed charges for five counts of aggravated sexual assault against Aponte. The district attorney's office elected to take two sexual assault charges and three aggravated sexual assault charges to trial, Castillo said. The jury ruled the three aggravated sexual assault charges be reduced to indecency with a child.

The two sexual assault charges involved more evidence because they occurred when the victim was older and she could remember more details of the incidents, Castillo said.

"The bottom line is he was convicted on five sexual offenses - the two sexual assaults and then the three indecency with a child," he said.

The verdict was announced after 7 p.m. Tuesday and the sentence was announced at 7 p.m. Wednesday after further testimony.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.

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