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In re J.G.M.

Court of Appeals of Texas, First District

July 18, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF J.G.M.

          On Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 3 Fort Bend County, Texas Trial Court Case No. 14-CJV-019101

          Panel consists of Justices Higley, Bland, and Brown.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Jane Bland Justice s

         This is an interlocutory appeal from the trial court's order transferring a juvenile proceeding to criminal district court. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 56.01(c)(1)(A) (West Supp. 2016). In its order, the juvenile court waived its jurisdiction over J.G.M. and transferred his case to criminal district court to try him as an adult for aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony. On appeal, J.G.M.

          complains that the trial court's finding that he was 14 years old at the time of the alleged offense is not supported by legally sufficient evidence. We affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         J.G.M. was 23 years old at the time that the State petitioned the juvenile court for discretionary transfer to criminal court to charge him with an aggravated sexual assault that he allegedly committed at age 14. The complaining witness made her first outcry about the offense after J.G.M. had turned 18.

         The State requested that the juvenile court waive its jurisdiction and transfer J.G.M.'s case to criminal district court pursuant to section 54.02(j) of the Texas Family Code. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 54.02(j) (West 2014); see also Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 22.021 (West Supp. 2016) (defining aggravated sexual assault as a first-degree felony). The State contended in its petition that the case qualified for transfer under subsection (j) because: (1) J.G.M. was 14 years of age or older and under 17 years of age when he committed the offense; and (2) the State did not have probable cause to proceed in juvenile court until new evidence was found after his 18th birthday.

         At the hearing, the complainant testified that J.G.M. had sexually assaulted her while she was inside the chapel of the church that her family and J.G.M.'s family attended. Concerning her age at the time of the offense, she testified:

1 THE STATE: How old were you when that [sexual assault]
happened?
THE COMPLAINANT: I was 7 years old. I know that because it was before I was baptized.
THE STATE: This happened to you when you were 7 years old, correct?
THE COMPLAINANT: Yes, ma'am.

         Tracy Taylor, a detective with the Sugar Land Police Department, testified that she investigated the sexual assault charge and had interviewed both the complainant and ...


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