RICHMOND, Texas (KIAH) – A man who was licensed to take care of children, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for child abuse. Back on Thursday March 9, of this year, a Fort Bend County jury convicted defendant Eric Norman Stewart of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child and sentenced him.
Deliberation only took about an hour for the jury that decided Stewart’s punishment for sexually abusing two children for over two years. The 66 year-old Missouri City man will serve his sentence day for day under Texas law.
Stewart was tried in the 268th District Court before Presiding Judge Steve Rogers. Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child is a first degree felony punishable by 25 to 99 years, or life, in prison with no parole eligibility. The offense also requires lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Evidence presented by prosecutors Alycia Curtis and Craig Priesmeyer revealed that Stewart, a former employee of the Department of Family and Protective Services, established a group home at his residence in Missouri City, fostering and adopting several children. The jury heard evidence that Stewart sexually abused both a nine and twelve year-old girl in his home for a period of more than two years starting in 2016.
Lead prosecutor Alycia Curtis said, “All children deserve to feel safe in their homes. This defendant betrayed his role as both a father, and as an employee within Children’s Protective Services, an agency designed to keep kids safe. I’m grateful for this jury’s hard work and their verdict. As a voice for our community, the jury made it clear that there are severe consequences for those who abuse our most vulnerable.”
Prosecutor Craig Priesmeyer noted, “The victims’ courage was not only heard, but felt, by everyone in the courtroom. Despite the defendant’s attempt to discredit their powerful accounts of repeated sexual abuse, the jury saw through his lies and told him so by their verdict.”
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but no one is more important than a parent or guardian. And when that person betrays their child, the village will rise up to protect the child and punish the abuser. I am proud of my prosecutors; of law enforcement; and most importantly, these children; to hold the defendant accountable.District Attorney Brian Middleton
Curtis and Priesmeyer commended Detective Lisa Yates-Porrovecchio, with the Missouri City Police Department, for her thorough investigation of this case. They also expressed their gratitude to Child Advocates of Fort Bend for their forensic interview program and therapy services that the agency provides to children and families.