Man Found Guilty of Raping Young Girl For Several Years - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Man Found Guilty of Raping Young Girl For Several Years

by Kim Powell
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It all started in Del Rio when the girl was just eight years old.

Joel Aguirre-Lara had been putting the girl in a room, locking the door and raping her. Terrified by his abusive acts towards other relatives, the victim was too afraid to come forward. She only felt safe once her family moved to Midland in April.

After coming forward to police, she was interviewed by the Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center. The victim explained that she was going through "family problems." She told investigators that Aguirre-Lara made her remove her clothes and she would scream. He would then cover her mouth so she couldn't yell.

The documents say that once she eventually confessed, she began to break down and cry.

The most recent time the girl was assaulted happened last January when she was just 11 years old. Aguirre-Lara took her to Mexico, saying they would be visiting other family members. That's when the suspect raped her one last time and even made her take a pill after the assault so she wouldn't have a baby.  

Once trial began, the victim was so traumatized that she was too afraid to be in the same room as her abuser. Prosecutors allowed the victim to testify through a video interview.

After just 40 minutes, the jury found Aguirre-Lara guilty on all counts.  

U.S. Attorney Austin Berry released a statement saying: “Justice for this victim was secured thanks to the great collaborative work of investigators at the Midland County Sheriff's Department and Homeland Security, the victim services provided by the Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center, as well as the expertise of the sexual assault nurse at Midland Memorial Hospital. We are very lucky to have such dedicated professionals working on behalf of children in our community.”

Aguirre-Lara will be sentenced in January. He is facing up to 30 years to life in prison. If he is ever released from prison, he will be deported back to Mexico.

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