(Editor’s note: This article contains graphic content.)
BONHAM — Pedro Noria, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser included offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. His plea moves the state one step closer to wrapping up a series of related child abuse cases in Fannin County.
The plea will likely mean that Noria, who was born in Mexico, will not be allowed to stay in this country once he is released from prison or be allowed to legally re-enter it or be granted citizenship.
Noria, who was originally charged with continuous sexual assault of a child under 14, pleaded guilty Friday to allowing a man named Sergio Maldonado Facundo rape his child. Fannin County Assistant District Attorney Don Hoover reminded the court that testimony in previous trials said that Noria took the child to Facundo’s house and then tied the child to the bed and allowed Facundo to assault the child while Noria and his wife, the child’s mother, watched.
Last year, a jury sentenced Facundo to life in prison for continuous sexual assault of a child under the age of 14. Another jury sentenced the mother, Noemi Noria, to 30 years in prison for her part in the crimes committed against the child. The couple’s child testified during a number of trials that his mother delivered him to Facundo both at his house and at a shop where the parents worked with Facundo. The child testified that Facundo raped him at both locations and that his parents were nearby or in the room when it happened. While that child was the only one who testified in Facundo’s trial or the mother’s trial, other children in the family are said to have been abused as well. Authorities said the children were abusing each other and the oldest brother has been charged with sexual abuse of a child.
Pedro Noria spoke to the court through an interpreter and gave mainly “yes” or “no” answers. He did say that he was originally from Mexico and that he only had a sixth grade education. He said he left school in the sixth grade because his parents couldn’t afford to pay for his education to continue. He said he understood the ramifications of his plea, when questioned by his attorney Micah Belden. His attorney said Pedro Noria was the first of the people charged with abusing the children to accept responsibility for his actions. In addition to the charge that he helped Facundo abuse one of the children, testimony in the trials revealed that another one of the couple’s children alleged that Pedro Noria stuck a glow stick up the boy’s rear end.
The abuse was discovered when the couple’s 12-year-old child, Jhoel Noria, was struck by an SUV while waiting on a school bus in September of 2015. The child died from his injuries and CPS opened an investigation into the incident. During Noemi Noria’s trial, a CPS worker testified that it was not the first time the agency had been involved with the family. Noemi Noria’s rights to all of her children have been terminated. The four younger children include three boys and one girl. All of those children are currently living either in theraputic care homes or foster homes.