Additional victims sought after monthslong HPD investigation into child sex assaults

Jose Luis Pena (HPD, Houston Police Department)

HOUSTON – Houston police are searching for additional victims after charges were filed against a suspect arrested following a monthslong child sexual assault investigation.

 The suspect, Jose Luis Pena, 58, is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 in the 338th State District Court.  Investigators believe the assaults occurred from June 1999 through 2003 in multiple areas of Texas, mostly in the northwest area of Houston. However, it has also been reported Pena committed sexual assaults in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a news release from police. 

The incidents occurred at the following dates and locations, according to HPD:

  • 700 Villerreal Drive in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1970s or 1980s
  • 900 South Adams, Dallas, Texas in 1981 or 1982
  • Near 3900 Ridge Canyon Road in Baytown, Texas, date unknown
  • 9600 Hannon Drive from June 20, 1999 to January 9, 2003

The age of the victims ranged from 3 years to 14. Investigators said they’ve made contact with numerous individuals who identified Pena as the suspect who sexually assaulted them or someone they knew.  

Houston police said in November 2019, investigators in the HPD Special Victims Division opened an investigation into allegations made by two adult female victims of being sexually assaulted when they were children. An initial investigation developed information on the whereabouts of the victims and investigators took statements regarding the allegations, according to police. 

Houston police said in August 2020, further investigation and subsequent interviews with the victims and other witness statements positively identified Pena as the suspect in the sexual assaults. 

In October, aggravated sexual assault charges were filed. Police located and arrested Pena on Nov. 6, 2020.   

Anyone with additional information in these cases or who may have been in contact with Pena is urged to contact the HPD Crimes Against Children Unit at 713-830-3265 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.