FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Eric Wayne Stanford, 36 years old, of Victoria was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted him of the Aggravated Sexual Assault of a nine year old.
The jury took less than 20 minutes to find Eric Stanford guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual assault after hearing testimony for three days. On July 26, 2011, the defendant sexually assaulted a nine year old girl while she was visiting his nephew.
Victoria Police Officer Sherry Hornstein testified that she responded to Simpson road and spoke to the father of the victim. The father testified that he called 911 after his daughter had told him that she had been sexually assaulted by the defendant at their neighbor's home. The father also testified that he was about to confront the defendant with a loaded handgun before a friend of his interceded and stopped him from entering the defendant's apartment.
The child testified that she went to a neighbor's home to play video games with the boy who lived there because she knew him. The child explained that the defendant had asked her to go a bedroom claiming that he was going to give her a surprise. The child believed the defendant because it was her birthday. After he took her to the bedroom, the defendant took advantage of the child and did not stop until she asked him to. After the child went home, she told her father who had recently come back from service in Iraq. Her father testified that he noticed that she seemed sad or withdrawn and he asked her what was wrong. The child then told him what happened at neighbor's home. Before the jury, the father testified that he then grabbed his handgun and was at the defendant's door when his best friend pulled up and began to calm him down. The friend took the handgun away and asked him to wait for the police to respond.
Jennifer Mumphord, a SANE nurse testified that she examined the girl and took swabbings from her navel and abdomen. A DPS forensic scientist testified that swabbings taken from child and clothes tagged into evidence contained a mixture of DNA from the child and the Defendant. "Both the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria County Sheriff's Office worked hard to get this dangerous predator off our streets," Assistant District Attorney Eli E. Garza, stated. "I believe that the child and her father showed strength and integrity facing the defendant in the courtroom.The child and her father are true heroes."
After the jury convicted the defendant of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault, a mother and her daughter from Gregg County, Texas testified that they had known the defendant in 1997. One of the witnesses, a twenty year old woman, testified that she was sexually assaulted by the defendant when she was five years old. Her mother testified that the defendant had been given probation, but it was subsequently revoked and he received 10 years in prison. After hearing the punishment evidence, Judge Robert Cheshire sentenced the defendant to life in prison for both counts. A motion to stack the sentences made by Mr. Garza was denied by the Court.
"The jury's quick verdict showed that they had faith in our law enforcement officers and the verdict demonstrates they had no problem believing members of our community who were hurt by this coward." Said Assistant District Attorney Eli E. Garza. "I hope that all the persons hurt by this defendant are able to get some closure in their lives."