Years of abuse yields 40-year sentence for illegal immigrant

Julio Leon

Julio Cesar Leon, 41, of Weatherford, pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting a girl over a period of years and was sentenced to 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole in a case that concluded in district court last week, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said.

Leon was convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a young child for engaging in various sexual acts with a girl when she was between 10 and 14 years old, Swain said. Since he was not in the U.S. legally, at the conclusion of his sentence, Leon will be deported.

“As is often the case, the victim did not make her outcry of abuse until a few years later,” Swain said. “During a forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Parker County, the victim described a grooming process whereby Mr. Leon gradually turned what started as simple touches over the clothing to more intimate and eventually sexual contact of an increasingly intrusive nature. The grooming process is a common element in child sexual abuse cases because it allows a would-be child molester to test the waters with a victim a little bit at a time, norming the contact for the child in the process.”

Swain said when Leon was confronted by Weatherford Police Department detectives, he admitted to having several sexual encounters with the victim.

“At the conclusion of the case in court, we verified with Mr. Leon that he was not in our country legally,” Swain said. “As a result, our office has been in contact with officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement to make sure that they place a detainer on him. It may be a long time from now, but we want to make sure that this defendant is deported if he lives long enough to complete his sentence.”

The case was handled in the 43rd Judicial District Court, Judge Craig Towson presiding.

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