Leon Phillips, 41, last known to reside at 2435 Beech St. in Beaumont, was sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 8, to life in the state penitentiary in connection with a 2010 aggravated sexual assault of a child. The sentence was automatic upon conviction because of the fact that Phillips been previously convicted of aggravated sexual assault in 1990 and sexual assault in 2000.
Oct. 2, 2010, the then 11-year-old victim was sexually assaulted at the Beech Street address on a Saturday. She was removed from the house by a relative and was taken to the home of a family acquaintance, but was retrieved from that address by another family member and taken back to Beech Street. When the child went to school on the following Tuesday, she made outcry to family members, who notified Beaumont police, who in turn notified CPS. After investigation, an indictment was handed up by the Jefferson County grand jury in January 2011.
The victim testified, as did the sexual assault nurse examiner who reported that she had found injuries to the victim’s anal area that were consistent with the report of having been penetrated. Also called by prosecutor Lindsey Scott was the resident at the first home to which the child had been taken after the assault. She testified that the child was distraught and crying, identified Phillips as her attacker, and that Phillips’ wife quickly came and retrieved the child.
Several witnesses were called by the defense, all of whom called into question the truthfulness of the victim.
Jurors deliberated for about an hour and 15 minutes Aug. 7 before returning a guilty verdict after only 15 minutes of discussion the next morning. The punishment verdict took a grand total of 10 minutes.
Scott said, “This was his own daughter, and listening to the testimony would turn your stomach. The community will be a safer place after this verdict.”