On Nov. 21, after a week-long trial in the 443rd Judicial District Court, Eric Shane Harris, 36, of Red Oak, was sentenced to a total of 80 years in prison for sexual assault of a child.
After finding him guilty of four counts, the jury sentenced him to 20 years on each count, with a ten thousand dollar fine on count four. Judge Cindy Ermatinger then ordered that his sentences would be served consecutively.
“We are proud of the jury’s verdict. The child in this case really struggled because this was her second victimization. We hope this stand for justice will be the beginning of her healing.” Alyssa Chavez and Grace Pandithurai, prosecutors on the case, said.
On June 10, 2018, Harris provided his teenage victim with alcohol, and through the course of the evening, he committed four acts of sexual assault against her. The jury heard evidence about how the acts happened outside and how the victim remembered focusing on the stars in the sky until it the assault was over.
The jury also heard testimony about how Harris took the child to Walmart to purchase the Plan B pill the next day, and how his DNA was found on the child’s clothing.
In the punishment phase of the trial, the jury learned that Harris had previously been on felony deferred adjudication probation for drug and assault offenses. They also learned how Harris was alleged to have violated his probation in both cases. The jury returned a punishment verdict within two hours.