SAN ANGELO, TX – A San Angelo man who was accused of molesting a minor for years will now face a 15-year prison sentence.
According to court documents, on Sep. 16, Mario Sanchez Jr., 23, of San Angelo, pleaded guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 14.
The investigation began on Dec. 1, 2020 after a child made an outcry that she had been sexually assaulted. The girl was taken to the Hope House and was given a forensic interview during which officers of the San Angelo Police Department were called in to attend.
The child told officers that the assaults had started five years prior, in Aug. 2015, when she was only 12-years-old. She claimed that Mario Sanchez Jr. had raped her more than 10 times while she was 12 to 13-years-old.
She accused Sanchez of assaulting her at a home on the 5300 block of Fruitland Farm Rd. After learning that the location of the attack occurred outside of the city limits, the investigation was turned over to the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office.
Once the TGCSO became involved more information began coming out. On Feb. 10, 2021, an investigator with the sheriff's office met with the girl and learned that Sanchez Jr. had also been sexually harassing the child on social media.
After reading the Facebook Message that stated "R u still my baby gurl do u love me still I did tke ur virginity" a warrant was issued. Sanchez Jr. was arrested and booked into the Tom Green County Detention Facility on Feb. 28 for continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, his second driving while intoxicated charge and resisting arrest.
Sanchez was indicted for the sexual abuse charge on Apr. 7. He was released from the jail on Apr. 24, 2021 after posting a $107,500 bond.
After months of court hearings the state and Sanchez Jr. agreed to a plea deal. On Sep. 16, Sanchez Jr. pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse charge in exchange for 15 years in prison. Sanchez was facing 20-99 years if found guilty.