GALVESTON, Texas – A visiting judge in Galveston has sentenced a man to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting a homeless woman in 2019.
James Allen Blackburn, of Galveston, must serve at least half his sentence before he is eligible for parole. Upon release, Blackburn will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
According to a release from the Galveston County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, in 2019, an officer with the Galveston Police Department received a report of sexual assault from a homeless woman. Upon investigation officers discovered the scene of the incident and began their search for the suspect known on the street as “Wolf.”
Blackburn’s trial began on Oct. 17. The jury heard from law enforcement and the victim about the attack. The jury also heard from DNA analyst and an expert in sexual assault and trauma cases about the difficulty of finding evidence in cases of sexual assault. Prosecutors Whitney Rasberry and Kate Willis also presented testimony on the extensive testing done by the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab that finally showed evidence of male genetic material from the victim.
In closing arguments, Rasberry argued that the Blackburn who “smiled and smirked” throughout trial was a dangerous man and had raped the victim and that the victim had nothing to gain from telling her story.
Rasberry highlighted the forensic evidence that corroborated everything the victim stated. The jury returned a verdict of guilty on Oct. 19 for sexual assault.
During the punishment phase of the trial, the court learned of the Blackburn’s criminal convictions dating back to 1982 that showed a pattern of assaultive behavior.
Willis asked the judge to consider the victim’s testimony as well as Blackburn’s history which included two arrests for injury to a child. Willis stated “this man preys upon the small and the vulnerable and he will do so again”
Judge Denise Bradley ultimately sentenced Blackburn to 15 years in prison.