Juvenile could be tried as an adult for alleged aggravated sexual assault against therapist

Chaz Miller Image
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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A juvenile was charged with aggravated sexual assault against a therapist working in a Harris County juvenile facility.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A juvenile charged with aggravated sexual assault against a therapist working in a Harris County juvenile facility is waiting to hear whether or not he'll be tried as an adult.

Closing arguments on the matter ended today, but the judge has yet to make a decision on his fate. It is unknown at this time when that will take place.

The teen, who was detained at the Harris County Leadership Academy, was 15 years old at the time of the incident in July 2021 and will turn 17 years old later this year.

The alleged sexual assault was committed against a woman who left her oil-and-gas job after 20 years to become a therapist in hopes of making a difference in the lives of individuals who needed some direction.

While on the stand Monday, she described being trapped in her office, knocked to the floor, and sexually assaulted.

The suspect is charged with aggravated sexual assault because he allegedly used a piece of workout equipment to get her onto the floor.

The therapist has since left her job, saying the incident took everything away from her, such as her ability to trust others.

Her husband spoke to the media following Monday's proceedings.

"She was locked in a room, beat up, and raped," James Haak said. "He also made a threat on her and her family's life, including mine, if we went forward to press charges or let it be known."

In addition to justice, Haak hopes the suspect is tried as an adult so the family can have peace of mind that he won't retaliate against them.

The suspect has seven open cases against him in Harris County, including evading arrest, assault of a peace officer, and now an aggravated sexual assault charge.

The hearing also revealed allegations that he had previously tried to put two other therapists in similar situations, but they were able to escape.

ABC13 asked the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department why the suspect was able to be alone in the same room with this therapist following the previous attempts but we were told they couldn't give us a statement until a decision in the hearing is announced.

In Tuesday's closing arguments, prosecutors said the suspect should be tried as an adult because he's proven he can't be rehabbed by the juvenile system.

The defense argued he should be tried as a juvenile and sent to a state-run juvenile program. They added he could be tried as an adult via a transfer hearing in two years, should the state option prove to be ineffective.

The Harris County DA's Office says he'd only be able to serve two years if tried as a juvenile on the aggravated sexual assault charge but could face life in prison if tried as an adult.

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