SAN ANGELO, TX – A trial two years in the making began on Oct. 23, 2023, with the selection of the jury.
On trial is 58-year-old Sammy Luna Sablan. Sablan is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
The indictment alleges that Sablan sexually assaulted a victim on two separate occasions in July 2018. The indictment and an arrest warrant for Sablan were issued in Nov. 2020, but Sablan was not arrested until Feb. 2021.
Early this morning, Sablan and his defense attorney Rae Liefeste asked for a continuance as a result of a letter they received claiming the child, who is now at the most 18 years old, had lied about the entire thing.
"Several people asked her if Sammy had touched her inappropriately prior to her outcry of sexual abuse against Sammy, and she denied that had occurred, even though it had," read the email.
That request for a continuance was denied, so the defense moved forward with asking the jury to assess punishment if he were found guilty. An application for Community Supervision was also submitted this morning. In it, Sablan asked the jury to not send him to prison for more than 10 years as he has never been convicted of a felony.
Jury selection will continue today with opening statements following. It's expected that the trial will be in full swing by Tuesday morning.