Galveston man accused of luring, raping 7-year-old girl at his apartment

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor, Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - A Galveston man who is in the country illegally was arrested after a 7-year-old girl claimed he lured her into his apartment and then sexually assaulted her, according to court documents.

The incident was reported Saturday afternoon at an apartment complex in the 7300 block of Heards Lane.

According to an affidavit, the girl’s father was looking for his daughter when he saw her exit an apartment where Pedro Centeno-Escobedo lives.

Centeno-Escobedo was deported in 1994.

The father questioned his daughter about why she was there, according to the affidavit. The girl told her father that Centeno-Escobedo, 56, called her into his apartment, locked the door behind her and then raped her, according to the affidavit.

"He lured her in by telling her, 'I got some candy and some more stuff for you. It's on the table, go get it.' That's what she told me," the alleged victim's father said.

The alleged victim's father, who we're not identifying because it's a sexual assault case, says the family was in their complex's parking lot when she went back into their place to get a drink.

Less than a minute later he realized she hadn't returned and he started yelling and searching for her.

Centeno-Escobedo told investigators that the girl knocked on his door and asked for water, according to the affidavit. He said the girl then pulled down her pants, forced him to touch her and got on top of him, according to the document.

"She told me that she heard me calling, but he wouldn't let her out," said the alleged victim's father. "(She said) He had pulled her in the house, locked the door and pulled her in the room and took her clothes off and that's when he molested her."

The father says other neighbors had to hold him back until police arrived.

"Have no mercy on him. To kill him. But I would have been taking the law in my own hands, but at that time, that was all that was on my mind," the alleged victim's father said.

Centeno-Escobedo was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was being held in jail on $80,000 bond.

"You don't just take somebody's kid into your house and do what you want and then say well she came onto to me. That's the reason I said why, if I wasn't pinned down at that time I would have killed him," the alleged victim's father said.

The father's biggest fear, there may be other victims still out there.

"If it happened to mine, I'm quite sure it done happened over here to someone else's," he said.

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