Appeals court upholds man’s conviction on sexual abuse charges

An appeals court in Corpus Christi on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a Brownsville man sentenced to 65 years in prison for the sexual abuse of five children.

The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the judgment issued by Judge Benjamin Euresti, Jr. of the 107th state District Court in December 2018, overruling a total of seven arguments raised by Jose Ramirez Garcia’s attorneys on appeal after the 13th Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

Garcia was convicted on five counts, including sex abuse of child continuous, two counts of indecency w/child sexual contact, and two counts of indecency w/a child involving exposure.

Euresti sentenced Garcia to 50 years, 10 years, five years, and another five years to run concurrently to the other sentences after a jury found him guilty.

The 50 year sentence carries no possibility of probation.

Attorneys for Garcia argued that the trial court erred in denying a motion for continuance when new discovery was submitted just before trial and denying Garcia’s motion to sever the counts of the indictment.

The petition for review also alleged that there was insufficient evidence to prove continuous sexual abuse of a child, and that the trial court improperly allowed outcry evidence.

The attorneys alleged that the court should not have questioned a child witness in the presence of the jury, that it improperly instructed the jury that Garcia could be awarded good conduct time, and that the State questioned Garcia about his post-arrest silence in violation of the law.

Each of the seven issues were overruled by the court, which cited what judges found to be sufficient evidence from the case, as well as standing case law which the court found substantiated the state’s actions both before and during trial.