Rosenberg man sentenced to life for sexual assault

Ernest Amaya Landin, Jr. was sentenced to Life in prison last Thursday by 268th District Court Judge Brady G. Elliott following a jury trial in which the 41-year old Rosenberg man was found guilty on two counts of Sexual Assault of a Child.

Evidence presented by prosecutors Natalie McKinnon and Lisa P. Gregg showed that the defendant was hired by the child victim’s family in January 2010 to do construction work on the family’s home.

The defendant quickly began a friendship with the family and even lived in the home for a period of time. Landin gained the trust of the family, including his teenage victim, and manipulated her into engaging in sexual activity with him.

An investigation was initiated in November 2010 after the child’s mother caught Landin kissing her daughter.

Evidence showed, as is often the case with sexual assaults involving teenagers, that Landin manipulated the child by telling her she was beautiful, that he loved her, and he wanted to be with her.

At one point, the victim tried to make the sexual activity stop, but Landin responded that he would end his friendship with her family and her parents would learn what was going on if she refused his advances.

During trial, the victim relayed that she had not been ready to disclose all that happened during the initial interview because she feared her mother’s opinion and she wanted to protect the defendant. Fiona Remko, Program Director of the Fort Bend Child Advocates Center, testified that disclosure of sexual abuse is a process, and it is not uncommon for children to initially minimize or deny abuse and then later disclose it.

Prosecutors later presented evidence to Judge Elliott proving that Landin was previously convicted of Sexual Assault of a Child in 1993. Texas law provides that a person who commits Sexual Assault of a Child be sentenced to Life imprisonment if the individual has been previously convicted of another sexual offense committed against a child. In a hearing outside the presence of the jury during a pre-trial matter, Landin’s previous child victim, now an adult, testified about what happened to her.

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