Local man sentenced to 10 years in prison for Attempted Kidnapping of 12-year-old girl

The assailant will also register as a sex offender for the next 20 years

VICTORIA, Texas- After a three-day bench trial, Justine Laray Villarreal, 30, has been convicted of Attempted Kidnapping and sentenced to ten years in prison. This decision came down Tuesday, August 11th, eight months after the crime was committed in December.

Assistant District Attorney Jordan G. Fries prosecuted the case alongside Victoria County District Attorney Constance Filley Johnson. Defense attorney Zachary A. Miles was Villarreal’s lawyer.

Newscenter 25 reported on this arrest earlier this year. Read more here.

A statement from the District Attorney’s office explained that ADA Fries presented evidence that “on the morning of December 5th, 2019, Villarreal, driving a grey Chevrolet Impala, attempted to abduct a 12-year-old female who was walking to Patti Welder Middle School. The child was a 6th grade Patti Welder student at the time. The evidence further showed that Villarreal had pulled his pants down to his knees and was stroking his genitals when he made contact with the child, she attempted to run home to evade him, he pursued her to the intersection of North and Ben Jordan, and then followed her down to the dead-end of Nelson Street before Benito Ozuna, a neutral bystander who had observed Villarreal chasing the child, rescued her and took her back to the school to wait for the police to arrive.”

The presiding judge of the 377th Judicial District, The Honorable Eli Garza, found Villarreal guilty of the offense at the conclusion of the State’s evidence and sentenced him to the maximum 10-year punishment allowed under the law. Due to the victim being under that age of 17, at the time of the offense, Villarreal will have to register as a sex offender until at least the year 2040.