Man found guilty of child sex abuse gets 60 years in prison

BROWNSVILLE — A man found guilty on allegations of continuous sexual abuse of a child will spend the next six decades in prison, according to a Cameron County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Luis Fernando Puente, 27, was sentenced to 60 years in prison after a jury in the 197th District Court found him guilty on one count of continuous sexual assault of a child and on four counts of possession of child pornography. 

Puente turned himself in to the Brownsville Police Department in January and admitted to showing pornography to an adolescent girl over a four-year span in different counties, according to the news release. 

The Brownsville Police Department, along with the Texas Rangers, conducted an inspection of Puente’s phone, which turned up pornographic images of the girl, resulting in additional counts. 

Sentenced by 197th District Court Judge Adolfo Cordova, Puente received 60 years on one count of continuous sexual assault of a child, in addition to the sentence of 10 years on each of the four counts of possession of child pornography. There is no possibility of parole. 

“I want to thank this jury, and those that have served before them, for recognizing that child abuse is a serious problem and among the most heinous of crimes in our communities,” Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said in the release. “While the Child Abuse Unit works hard to prepare and present the state’s case against these individuals, it’s a jury of our peers that makes the tough decision to find the defendant guilty or not guilty.”

Puente’s case continues the success of the Child Abuse Unit, which is under the direction of Assistant District Attorney Brandy Bailey. Established in 2013, the Child Abuse Unit has taken care of 419 cases that total to 4,074 years of jail time served by defendants, which is a 76% conviction rate for the unit, according to the release.

“The discipline, preparation, and dedication that this team puts into each trial show and pay off big time in their quest to keep child predators off the streets. We encourage anyone who suspects wrong doing to come forward,” Saenz said.