Pharr man sentenced to 20 years for indecency with a child

EDINBURG – According to a statement released Thursday, a Pharr man will serve 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to indecency with a child by sexual contact, a second degree felony.

Juan Manuel Pineda Zarate Jr.

Pharr resident Juan Manuel Pineda Zarate Jr., 40, was sentenced on October 3 by 332nd District Court Judge Mario E. Ramirez Jr., the statement says. The child was 10 years old at the time of the attack, which occurred in 2017.

“We will continue to go after the perpetrators of these heinous crimes,” Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said. “All children have the right to be protected from violence, exploitation, and abuse. If you suspect child abuse, please speak up for the child and report it.”

The case was prosecuted by Chief Hope Palacios of the special crimes division in the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, the release states. Zarate Jr. was arrested by Pharr PD, while Dezerei Diaz, with the Children’s Advocacy Center; Linda Greenwood, an investigator with the DA’s office; Advocate Ilda Sifuentes; Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Evonne Garcia; and representatives from Child Protective Services and the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab assisted in the prosecution and investigation.

Suspected child abuse can be reported by calling 1 (800) 252-5400, the release says.