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2nd man pleads guilty in Texas child rape case

2nd man pleads guilty in repeated sexual assault of Texas girl, 11; gets 15-year prison term By The Associated Press

LIBERTY, Texas (AP) ' A man who is part of a group of 20 males accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a case that horrified and divided their small Texas town has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Marcus Porchia was sentenced earlier this month to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child as part of an agreement with prosecutors, according to court records. Porchia's guilty plea is the second among the 14 adults charged in the case. He had been facing up to life in prison.

Porchia's sentence will run concurrently with a 15-year term he received in February for a sexual assault conviction involving another girl in a separate case.

The 27-year-old has agreed to testify against his co-defendants, whose trials are not set.

Prosecutors are not commenting on the case because of a gag order. Porchia's attorney, Tyrone Moncriffe, did not immediately return a phone call.

Another adult defendant, Isaiah Ross, 22, pleaded guilty in December. Prosecutors have recommended a 15-year prison term for Ross, who still awaits sentencing.

Authorities say the girl was assaulted on at least five occasions between mid-September and early December 2010 in Cleveland, about 45 miles northeast of Houston. The investigation began that December, after one of the girl's friends told a teacher he had seen a lurid cellphone video that showed the girl being raped in an abandoned trailer.

Six juvenile boys also were charged, and five of them have pleaded guilty.

The suspects range in age from a middle-school student to a 28-year-old, and include two star athletes at the local high school and adults with criminal records.

Most of the men face charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, while four face a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The case shown an unflattering spotlight on Cleveland after some in the town of about 9,000 residents suggested the girl was culpable in part for what happened, claiming she wore makeup and looked older. Some also accused her parents, immigrants from Mexico, of not watching her more closely.

But those suggestions were sharply criticized by many Cleveland residents, along with community and religious groups outside the city.

Also complicating the case was a belief by many in the predominantly black neighborhood where several of the suspects live that the arrests were racially motivated. All of the suspects are black, while the girl is Hispanic.

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Related Keywords:Texas Girl Assaulted,Violent crime,Legal proceedings,Crime,Crimes against children,General news,Law and order


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