A 57-year-old Arlington man was sentenced to 60 years in prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old relative.
Earlier on Wednesday, Eric Bledsoe was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 6, a crime that carries no parole eligibility, and one count of indecency with a child, according to a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office. The jury sentenced Bledsoe to 20 years on the indecency count, the release said. The sentences will run concurrently.
“The defendant was arrogant enough to blame his abhorrent conduct on a 4-year-old child,” said Kelly Meador, Tarrant County prosecutor. “The jury didn’t buy it and he has the rest of his life to think about it in prison.”
In March 2013, Bledsoe was babysitting his 4-year-old relative at his Arlington home, according to evidence presented by Meador and Andrea Townsend, Tarrant County assistant district attorneys. The child described Bledsoe’s inappropriate sexual conduct while she was riding home from church with her mother and aunt, evidence presented in state District Judge Wayne Salvant’s court showed.
The child’s mother called Child Protective Services officials who contacted Arlington police, the release said. During a police interview, Bledsoe blamed the child for his behavior.
Charges were never filed against Bledsoe involving a 2002 sexual abuse allegation made by another female relative, who was 9 years old at the time. That victim, now 21, testified during the punishment phase of Bledsoe’s trial.