A former elementary school teacher in the Heights has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing one of his 8-year-old students.
Miguel Angel Yepez, 41, was convicted of indecency with a child following a three-day trial in the 185th District Court in a trial that ended Thursday according to prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The girl was in Yepez’s second-grade class at Harvard Elementary School during the 2010 to 2011 school year when the incident occurred. During the trial, which ended Thursday, she testified against Yepez, as did her mother. The mother, according to a release from the District Attorney’s Office, fought back tears as she recalled asking Yepez to watch over her daughter while the family went through a strenuous divorce. In doing so, she feels she handed her daughter over “on a silver platter.”
“The jury spoke loud and clear,” Assistant District Attorney Ashley Guice said. “This is a horribly sad example of betrayal by someone entrusted with protecting our children.”
As the trial progressed, a former student who said Yepez groped her while she was a student Harvard Elementary during the 2002 school year. At the time, she says, she was overwhelmed with fear of revealing the abuse. According to the Houston Chronicle, Yepez was charged with child indecency in connection with the off-campus incident, but that case was dismissed following Thursday’s ruling.
“Though this took time, justice has been served,” said JoAnne Musick, chief of sex crimes for the district attorney’s office. “Those who violate the most sacred trust of our community — caring for our children — will be prosecuted and punished accordingly.”