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Convicted Child Molester Gets Life in Prison

(RICHMOND) – A Kendleton man has been sentenced to life in prison by a Fort Bend County jury after he was found guilty of molesting a child. Melvin Harris, 53, was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a young child after authorities discovered he was abusing a child for several years.

Melvin Harris

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported the abuse to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office in May of 2020. The child revealed the abuse to a psychotherapist she consulted when she was 19 years of age. The psychotherapist reported the abuse to authorities as required by law. The investigation revealed that Harris began sexually abusing the child when she was about 6 years old and continued to abuse her at various locations across Fort Bend and Harris Counties until she was 14. During the punishment phase of the trial, two other women testified that the defendant sexually abused them when they were children.

Prosecutor Jessica Ramos said, “The jury listened to disturbing testimony about the sexual abuse of three children during this trial. In a case lacking physical evidence due to the delayed disclosures, the jury recognized the power of the victims’ voices not only when they found the defendant guilty, but also when sentencing him to life in prison. Their verdict protects both our community and our children from this sexual predator.”

Lead prosecutor Charann Thompson added, “This case demonstrates the reason there is no statute of limitations for this offense. Delayed disclosures of child sexual abuse are too common, and yet it is so important to hold perpetrators accountable. You don’t get a free pass in Texas if you abuse a child when they’re too young, or too scared, or too dependent on the abuser to tell immediately.”

“I am grateful for the hard work of our prosecutors, law enforcement, and others which caused this defendant to be brought to justice,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “Offering our children hope of a better tomorrow, despite the tragedy of yesterday, is at the core of criminal justice.”

Harris was tried in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Tameika Carter. Continuous sexual abuse of a young child is a first-degree felony punishable by 25-99 years, or life, in prison. Harris must serve his sentence day-for-day with no opportunity for parole.


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