A mother was convicted by a Texas jury after allowing her 13-year-old daughter to be sexually abused by the girl’s 47-year-old “husband,” officials say.
The mother said the “marriage” between her daughter and the man “was a normal part of her religious beliefs” and that she consented to it, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office. But by Texas law, the girl was too young to be a part of a legal marriage.
The false marriage between the child and man went on for nearly a year before authorities learned of it in 2017, after the child revealed information about it during a doctor’s appointment.
The 13-year-old said during the 2017 appointment that she was “sexually active with her husband,” according to prosecutors. Her mother was present during the appointment.
The 47-year-old man was not the only person to sexually abuse the young girl, prosecutors said during court proceedings. Fort Bend prosecutors said the girl’s mother had also sexually abused the girl years earlier “under the guise of a different religion.”
On April 29, a jury convicted the mother of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, and she was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
“I take solace in this jury’s verdict, because it says that there’s a consequence awaiting mothers who fail to protect as profoundly as (the defendant) did,” lead prosecutor Charann Thompson said.
Caseworkers from Child Protective Services helped support the child during the investigation and trial, prosecutor Jessica Ramos said. The child has been adopted by a new mother.
“I applaud this child for her strength and resilience as she continues to recover from the crimes committed against her,” Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton said. “I pray that she is successful in all of her future endeavors.”