Austin man sentenced to life for sexually abusing a child for years


An Austin man has been sentenced to life following a two-week trial involving his sexual abuse of a child over a seven-year period.

A Travis County jury returned the sentence Thursday, a day after finding 44-year-old Jesus Mendez guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child by contact and sexual assault of a child by contact.

Visiting Judge Chuck Miller added another 20 years to be served after the life sentence.

Mendez was arrested in 2017 after Austin police officers were called to Crockett High School and told by the victim that Mendez had sexually abused her for years since she was eight years old. DNA evidence was obtained from an assault the previous day.

The victim testified in detail during the trial about the variety of ways she was abused and after the verdict, repeatedly thanked the jury for believing her and freeing her from him, according to a release from the Travis County District Attorney's office.

"I am extremely pleased with our work and the outcome," DA Margaret Moore said in the release, praising the work of Assistant District Attorneys Christy May and Devin Falck. "This brave girl deserved justice and the jury and the judge delivered it.