Editor’s note: This article has been updated with comment from attorney John Nix.
A plea agreement with the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office Tuesday earned a Sherman man a lifetime prison sentence.
Nehemias Rivas-Ramirez, of Sherman, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for sexually assaulting a child. He will have to serve at least 30 years in prison before being eligible for parole. Once he is up for parole, Rivas-Ramirez, 39, will likely be deported as he is currently being held on an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.
“My hope is that he is never released and will never hurt another child,” Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Bi Hunt and Rivas-Ramirez was represented in the case by John Nix.
Smith said the case started when a 6-year-old child made an outcry of sexual abuse to a relative in the summer of 2018. A report was made to law enforcement and the child was interviewed at the Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center with a Child Protective Services representative present. Smith said CPS made a determination that the child could not be safely returned to the home with Rivas-Ramirez, so the child was removed from the home.
Sherman Police then got a warrant based on the child’s statement and the statements of others. Rivas-Ramirez was interviewed at the Sherman Police Department by Det. Tyler Halter and Det. Alex Aviles. Rivas-Ramirez confessed to the abuse.
As part of the plea agreement, the state dismissed one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of indecency with a child sexual contact, one count of indecency with a child exposure and one count of attempt to commit aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Nix said his client took the plea because he thought it was his best chance for parole at some point. Nix said Rivas-Ramirez made some incriminating statements to police and never backed off of those statements. The attorney said he thinks his client’s status as an illegal immigrant will mean that he will likely make parole the first time he is eligible. Rivas-Ramirez will likely then be sent back to El Salvador, Nix said.