HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A man prosecutors say will no longer be able to hurt innocent children will be spending the rest of his natural life behind bars.
On March 29, the day he was scheduled for a jury trial, Ivan Alejandro Robles pled guilty to the charge of continuous sexual abuse of a young child before the Honorable J. Christian Becerra of the 434th Judicial District Court. The 41-year-old Sugar Land man elected for the court to assess his sentence following a punishment hearing.
Evidence presented by Fort Bend County Assistant District Attorneys Jessica Ramos and Tristyl McInnis showed that, on the night of Jan. 5, 2019, a woman called 911 and told the operator she was going to shoot Robles after she walked in on him sexually assaulting her 13-year-old daughter in her Sugar Land home. The mother held Robles at gunpoint until police arrived.
The child survivor testified during the punishment hearing.
According to investigators, she provided powerful and heartbreaking details about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Robles, which began when she was only 5 years old. Her testimony outlined a progression of abuse that escalated over a span of eight years. The abuse included a depraved method of punishment the defendant inflicted on the child when she refused his instructions to perform certain sexual acts. The painful testimony also revealed that the survivor began contemplating suicide when she was 10 years old as a means of escaping the abuse.
The defendant’s attorney asked for leniency on behalf of Robles, explaining that he had taken responsibility by pleading guilty to the charge and had no criminal history. The defense requested the court sentence Robles to the minimum of 25 years in prison.
In her closing argument to the court, lead prosecutor Ramos argued that the survivor was denied a childhood because Robles chose to inflict his vile sexual desires on her at such a young age. Ramos ended her closing argument by requesting the court to impose a life sentence so that Robles would have to endure the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life, just as the victim would have to suffer the trauma caused by the defendant’s abuse for the rest of her life.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Becerra sentenced Robles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“Anyone that listened to the victim’s testimony was left emotionally shaken,” said Ramos. “I asked the victim how she felt after bravely confronting her abuser in court. She said she felt free. You could see the burden lift off her young shoulders. I could not be more proud of her for the courage she displayed during her testimony.”
McInnis added, “The act of abusing a child is beyond comprehension yet it is happening every day. The sentence in this case sends a strong message for what awaits predators that abuse children.”
“The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office works tirelessly to protect vulnerable members in our community which most often includes women and children. We zealously and relentlessly pursue justice for victims of abuse. We will seek the harshest punishment for child predators just as we did in this case,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “Unfortunately, we cannot undo the harm that was done to this child, but we can ensure she never has to fear that this defendant will ever harm her again. The judge’s imposition of a life sentence was just and a result of a mother’s fierce love for her child, the courage of the child to face the defendant, and the hard work of law enforcement. Justice has indeed been served.”
Continuous sexual abuse of a young child is a first-degree felony punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison, with no possibility of parole, and a fine up to $10,000.