Galveston man sentenced 25 years in sexual assault claimed he, toddler were ‘playing’

GALVESTON, Texas — The man convicted in the ongoing sexual assault of a small child was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday, the Galveston County District’s Attorney’s Office said.

Antonio R. Astorga, 35, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child in June 2016. Astorga, who had no prior felony convictions, pled guilty shortly before his jury trial was to begin, office said.

Prosecutors said he victim reported that while she was living in a home with Astorga, he sexually assaulted her on many occasions when she was three and four years old.

During an interview with police, Astorga tried to explain away the allegations. Astorga said that he accidentally put his hand down the victim’s pants while playing. He went on to say that his sexual organ touched the victim’s accidentally, resulting from her pants being pulled down while playing and him wearing shorts.

He claimed he did not know how many times it could have happened as they “played a lot,” prosecutors said.

He accepted the State’s punishment offer and was sentenced to 25 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The parents of the victim were in agreement with the resolution of the case. Cruz will have to serve at least one-half of his time before being eligible for parole. If paroled, or upon discharging his sentence, he will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

The investigation was conducted by the Galveston Police Department.