Crime

December 12, 2013

Arlington man sentenced to 75 years for raping runaway girl

A Tarrant County jury needed just 10 minutes to convict an Arlington man of raping a 12-year-old.

An Arlington man is headed to prison for 75 years after a Tarrant County jury convicted him of raping a 12-year-old runaway in an Arlington field in 2011.

Jurors needed just 10 minutes last week to convict Miguel Angel Munoz, 36, of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

The same jury in the 432nd Criminal District Court deliberated about an hour before assessing the 75-year sentence and a $10,000 fine.

Munoz must serve half his sentence before he is eligible for parole, court officials said.

“This defendant shoved a 12-year-old girl’s face into the dirt and trash and took her innocence,” prosecutor Kim D’Avignon said in a news release Thursday from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office. “He deserves every second the jury gave him.”

Munoz raped the girl on March 20, 2011, just minutes after she had run away from her Grand Prairie home after arguing with an older sister, prosecutors said.

The girl changed her mind about running away and called a friend to meet her at a Taco Bell near Abram Street in Arlington, authorities said.

As the girl walked across a field to the fast-food restaurant, Munoz grabbed her from behind, threw her into some bushes and raped her, authorities said.

A homeless man heard the assault and flagged down help, but Munoz left the scene.

Police released a composite drawing and entered the assailant’s DNA into a national database, but there were no leads, authorities said.

In 2012, the DNA linked Munoz to the crime after he was arrested and convicted on a burglary charge, prosecutors said.

In the punishment phase of the rape trial, prosecutors presented evidence of Munoz’s previous convictions and his history of assaulting women.

One woman testified that she came home one night and found Munoz, an acquaintance, in her shower. Another woman told the jury that Munoz consistently abused her and forced her to have sex during their five-year relationship.

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