TOM GREEN COUNTY - A jury in the 119th District Court in Tom Green County sentenced a 22-year old man to five years in prison after he was found guilty on March 21 for one count of sexual assault of a child.

TOM GREEN COUNTY - A jury in the 119th District Court in Tom Green County sentenced a 22-year old man to five years in prison after he was found guilty on March 21 for one count of sexual assault of a child.

Michael Anthony Moreno, 22, of Tom Green County, was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a then 13-year-old female. Moreno pleaded not guilty to the charge, which could have sent him to prison for up to 99 years.

According to court documents, the victim, who was 13 at the time of the offense, told friends at school that Moreno sexually assaulted her. Her friends then told the school counselor, Child Protective Services and the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office. The victim told the school nurse, a counselor and law enforcement that Moreno forced her to have sex.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Forensic Scientist confirmed DNA evidence in the victim’s underwear, testimony revealed.

After being found guilty, Moreno was sentenced to five years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which was the minimum sentence he could have received. However, probation was not an option.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley Knight expressed gratitude to all of the investigators involved in the case following the verdict and sentence.

“We appreciate the thorough investigation from Sgt. Investigator Andy Alwine with the (Tom Green County) Sheriff’s Office,” Knight wrote in a statement following the trial. “We did not ask for a certain number of years from the jury because we wanted to know what the jury thinks of these types of cases. Juries’ verdicts set the community standard. In this case, the jury assessed punishment at the minimum. We hope that the conclusion of this trial has brought the victim and her family some much needed closure and we wish them well.”