Guilty verdict in father/daughter rape case
A Beaumont man has been convicted of raping his young daughter after a two-day trial in Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court ended Wednesday, Nov. 6.
William Semien, 45, of Beaumont was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Feb. 7 for attempted sexual assault.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, Semien’s daughter first came to police in November 2012, telling investigators her father habitually raped her since she was 14 or 15 years old.
According to prosecutors familiar with the case, Semien had been in and out of prison for various drug and theft felonies, and when Semien would return from prison, he would regularly rape his daughter.
The affidavit said Semien’s daughter had had enough after she was thrown down on the bed and threatened with rape if she did not behave. When she tried to get away, the affidavit said Semien pinned his daughter to the bed by choking her.
Prosecutors said, although penetration never occurred during the altercation, they would later find DNA evidence in the form of semen inside Semien’s daughter’s panties, which was presented in court to the jury.
Semien’s defense called no witnesses and crossexamined few of the prosecution’s witnesses during the trial phase.
Prosecutor Lyndsey Scott had some choice words for the jury before they sentenced him. Jurors had the choice of 25 years to life in prison for Semien.
“(The victim) is going to carry this around with her for the rest of her life. Just take a minute and imagine what the world would look like to you if the very man who was charged with loving and protecting you was raping you,” Scott told the jury. “How messed up would your view or definition of love or relationships be if your first sexual partner was your father? How would you ever have a healthy relationship? How would you ever trust a man if the first man you had in your life was doing this to you?”
It seems jurors met Scott somewhere in the middle, sentencing Semien to 55 years in prison for raping his daughter after less than an hour of deliberation.
“If he dies alone in prison, which I think he deserves, it’s because he put himself there,” Scott said.