Local News

Jul 23, 2014 10:15 PM by Bart Bedsole - bbedsole@kristv.com

Family Urges Jury Not To Give Sanchez Life Sentence

CORPUS CHRISTI - A jury found Victor Sanchez guilty of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child on Wednesday, but remains deadlocked on a punishment.

It's a certainty that Sanchez will receive at least 25 years in prison.

that's the minimum sentence allowed by law for molesting a child under 6.

During the punishment phase, Sanchez's family urged the jury not to give him any more than that.

Erica Zamora, Sanchez's girlfriend and the mother of his two year old son, says his whole family is in shock over the guilty verdict.

None of them can believe he molested a girl inside the Family Dollar at Weber and Holly in November, despite DNA evidence found on the young victim's panties.

Sanchez's mom believes he's a good son and a good father.

Jesusa Sanchez testified, "Yeah, he plays with him (his son). When he's not working, he's with him, playing or trying to watch TV with him."

His father, Antonio Sanchez, said in court, "He's always told me 'Dad, I want to better myself' more than me, and that's what I encourage them all the time."

Other relatives told the jury that Sanchez was never a threat to them or their children.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Eric Perkins said Sanchez has no criminal history and deserves a chance to eventually get out of prison.

"I'm asking you, I'm pleading with you, to consider that Victor Sanchez has some rehabilitative capacity," he said.

But prosecutors urged the jury to consider putting him away for good, as a way protecting other potential victims.

Prosecutor Kim Gonzalez said, "There's no other way to keep a child safe, if her mother looks away, or if her father gets distracted, unless he's in a place where we know there are no children."

No one from the victim's family testified in the punishment phase.

It's not just the jury who will have a hand in punishing Sanchez.

Judge Jose Longoria will decide if the two punishments for the two guilty counts will be served one after another or at the same time.

With a 25 year minimum for each count, that will be a big factor.

Deliberations continue Thursday morning.

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