Andrew Greg Pedraza, a 43-year-old Beaumont man who pleaded guilty to continued molestation of a family member younger than 10 years old, was back in court Monday, March 4.
This time, the young girl’s father appeared in Criminal District Court before Judge John Stevens to hear the sentencing and to make a statement to the court.
In exchange for a Feb. 1 plea of guilty, Pedraza received 10 years probation and a $1,500 fine for aggravated sexual assault of a child less than 14 years of age — a charge that could carry a life sentence if he had been convicted in a trial.
“The only reason this court is following this agreement is the family has pretty much had it with you,” Stevens said to Pedraza.
Stevens also gave Pedraza the maximum jail sentence he could under the plea agreement, 180 days in the Jefferson County Jail.
“The fact that you’re getting probation in this case, you ought to be going to church every day twice a day,” Stevens said after Pedraza asked the court if it was acceptable to attend a local church without violating court orders that he remain away from children at all times.
“We will be keeping an eye on you,” Stevens said.
The young girl’s father — who declined to be identified after facing Pedraza — somberly addressed the court and his daughter’s rapist Monday, saying his family has been fragmented by the ordeal.
“You’ll never be in my world again,” he said. “You’ll never be allowed around my children or me.”
The father said the only reason Pedraza would not spend his life in prison was the family was sparing their young daughter the fear and shame of taking the stand.
“I’ll do whatever I can to spare my daughter,” he told Pedraza. “I don’t want her standing in front of an attorney who’s doing his job.”
The father said his daughter has been forever altered by Pedraza’s molestation.
“She’s scared. She won’t sleep by herself anymore,” he said. “Every light in the house has to be on at night.”