BRYAN, Texas (TCD) -- A 79-year-old man who impregnated a 12-year-old child nearly three decades ago was recently sentenced to life in prison.
In 1995, Robert Crawford impregnated a 12-year-old girl and brought the child to an abortion clinic upon learning about the pregnancy, the Grimes County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. The pregnancy was reportedly terminated, and the crime was not reported at the time.
Decades later, on June 12, 2021, the Navasota Police Department responded to a report of a child sexual assault against a 14-year-old boy, the District Attorney’s Office said. The boy reportedly told officers he had been sexually assaulted by Crawford on multiple occasions. The last incident allegedly happened in 2020.
On June 25, 2021, authorities learned about the 12-year-old girl who had been impregnated in 1995. According to the District Attorney’s Office, the 1995 victim was interviewed, and she confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted by Crawford in his home.
Investigators reportedly learned about a third sexual assault victim on June 28, 2021. The District Attorney’s Office said a woman heard about the allegations against Crawford, and it "triggered a memory from her childhood." In the 1970s, the woman’s childhood friend allegedly told her that she had been abused by Crawford as a teenager.
A few months later, on Sept. 4, 2021, the District Attorney’s Office said Crawford was interviewed and admitted to the sexual assault of the 14-year-old boy as well as the 1995 12-year-old victim. According to the District Attorney’s Office, "Crawford confirmed he had driven the victim to an abortion clinic in Houston, Texas."
Crawford allegedly told the investigator interviewing him that he had purchased a one-way ticket to Mexico for the next day. He was reportedly arrested. The District Attorney’s Office said Crawford was found with a passport in his possession and a belt meant to hide money.
On Sept. 8, 2021, authorities reportedly learned about a fourth sexual abuse victim, who now lives near Mexico City. She came to the U.S. to live with a relative, who was dating Crawford in the 1980s, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Inside their home, Crawford allegedly sexually abused the fourth victim, who was 10 years old at the time.
During the trial, jurors heard from the 1986 and 2020 sexual assault victims. Evidence and testimony from the 1995 victim were reportedly presented.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, after 15 minutes of deliberation, Crawford was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was sentenced to life in prison and given the maximum allowable fine of $10,000. Crawford remains held in Grimes County Jail and is awaiting transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
In a statement, District Attorney Andria Bender said, "In 25 years as a prosecutor, this is among the most egregious child sexual abuse cases I’ve handled. Robert Crawford is a child molester who victimized children for decades."
Bender continued, "Today, the jury made clear through their punishment verdict of a life sentence, what happens in Grimes County if you molest children. Today, they ensured this defendant will never again have the chance to traumatize another child."
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