RICHMOND (Covering Katy News) - Eddie Ray Charles, 52, of Richmond was sentenced to spend 75 years in prison for sexually abusing two young children. He was recently found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children. He is not eligible for parole which means he will serve his full sentence and spend the rest of his live behind bars.  

Evidence presented by Fort Bend County Assistant District Attorneys Melissa Muñoz and Laurel Ellisor revealed that Charles engaged in sexual contact with one of the children in 2013 and also engaged in various types of sexual contact with the second child between 2007 and 2012.  A third child who had been abused by Charles in 1990 also testified. 

“Often children do not tell right away, and may even deny when asked if they have been sexually abused," said Ellisor.  They may be scared of splitting up a family or losing a family member.  In this case, one of the two children who testified had bravely reported the abuse to a teacher and authorities were contacted immediately.  As a result of that child’s bravery, a second child came forward and disclosed years of sexual abuse.”

“Holding Charles accountable for his crimes, and keeping him away from the public, would never have been possible without the remarkable courage of these children," said Lead prosecutor Melissa Muñoz.  Because of these brave kids, we were able to stop Eddie Charles from harming any more children.” 

Earlier in the year, on May 29, 2019, Judge Maggie Perez Jaramillo sentenced Rosenberg resident Samuel Johnson, Jr. to 20 years in prison following his plea of guilty to Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

Muñoz presented evidence that showed the Johnson had engaged in sexual conduct with a 10 year old on multiple occasions.  The child disclosed the sexual abuse to a relative. 

On June 4, 2019, Judge Frank Fraley sentenced Marie Horton of Richmond to 12 years in prison following her plea of guilty to injury to a child by recklessly causing serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony.

Prosecutors Claire Andresen and Jenna Rudoff presented evidence that Horton disciplined a seven-year-old boy in her care by forcing him to stand in hot water until he suffered second and third degree burns. Horton, who at the time worked as a registered nurse, did not seek medical attention for the child’s injuries. The child required skin grafts at Shriner’s Burn Center.     

Horton’s husband, Christopher Funderburg, was previously sentenced for his part in the crime. Funderburg pleded guilty to the offense of attempted tampering with a witness and was sentenced to 2 years of community supervision. 

Judge Robert L. Rolnick ordered a 20-year prison sentence for Defendant Alexander Cuellar. In that case, the defendant pleded guilty to the offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child and agreed to a sentence of 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The 40 year-old man assaulted a 13-year-old child.  

Cuellar was living with family members in a Rosenberg apartment in September 2017.  Cuellar broke into a neighboring apartment while a 13-year-old female was home alone. Cuellar held the child down and sexually assaulted her before leaving. The child immediately called law enforcement, and Cuellar was identified by both the child’s statement and DNA evidence. 

Sugar Land resident Glenn Casey Portwood was sentenced to 30 years after a Fort Bend County jury convicted him of aggravated sexual assault of a child.     

The victim was 11 years old. Her testimony established that she was a friend of the defendant’s children and was sexually abused by Portwood when she was playing at his residence. A young relative of Portwood, also claimed to have been abused by him nearly 20 years ago when she was 13 years old.

A search warrant that was executed at the Portwood home that resulted in him being charged and convicted of federal child pornography charges. He was sentenced to  ten-years for that crime. 

Judge Shoemake granted the request of the prosecutors to stack Portwood’s 30 year sentence on top of the federal sentence so that the time will not be served simultaneously.

Prosecutor Terese Buess noted that the evidence in this case supports the research that challenges commonly held assumptions about sex offenders. 

“Many assume that sex offenders who view and collect child pornography do nothing more than look," Buess said. "This case falls in line with the studies confirming that child pornography offenders are significantly more likely to have sexually abused a child personally.  This case also substantiates those studies concluding that a sex offender who abuses a child is likely to have abused multiple victims.”

Dwayne Bernard Howard, 52, of Houston was found guilty by a jury on January 24, 2019, for aggravated sexual assault of a child before being sentenced to 45 years in prison in accordance with a plea agreement.

A Fort Bend County jury returned a guilty verdict last week against Oluwafemi Otunbalogun for sexual assault of a child. iOtunbalogun faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in August. 

“We want children to know that their voice matters and there is help for them if they tell,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “Many people are responsible for the successful resolution of these cases. The teams of law enforcement officers, Child Protective Services investigators, and our prosecutors worked hard to ensure that justice was done. The assistance provided by forensic interviewers at the Children’s Advocacy Center here in Fort Bend County is invaluable.  These sentences send a clear message that child abuse will not be tolerated in Fort Bend County.”

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