From the Parker County District Attorney’s Office:
A 38-year-old Azle man who called 911 to report that he had groped the breasts of a sleeping 12-year-old girl pled guilty to an indecency with a child charge and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Parker County district court Tuesday.
On April 23, 2017, after the girl woke up and caught him in the act, Herbert Gerald Peterson called Azle police, telling them, “I groped a 12-year-old girl” and asking them to come to the residence to arrest him.
“Honestly, I’ve never had a case quite like this,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, who handled the case for the prosecution. “Usually, 911 calls are made by the victim or a witness, not by the person who commits the crime and then wants to be arrested. I think he knew he was busted and must have wanted to own up to what he had done.”
The fact that the defendant admitted committing the offense did not necessarily make the offense any easier on the victim.
“About a year later, our victim continues to have nightmares and has difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, which is not surprising since this offense began when she was sleeping,” Swain said. “She has suffered from depression and has had difficulty trusting others. Unfortunately, these are symptoms of sexual abuse suffered by far too many victims.”
“You changed my life in a heavy way. I wake up in tears and crying. I won’t sleep with my door open,” the girl told Peterson in a victim impact statement read after sentencing was completed. “It’s so hard for me to trust and not be scared away from home… I really do hope you have learned your lesson on this.”
The case was handled in the 43rd Judicial District Court, Judge Craig Towson, presiding.
Under Texas parole law, Peterson will not be eligible for release for prison for at least five years.