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Jurors Sentence Leija to Life in Prison on All Four Counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault

It took a little more than an hour for  jurors in  78 District Court to decide on punishment for the man they found guilty Friday of four counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault.

It took a little more than an hour for  jurors in  78 District Court to decide on punishment for the man they found guilty Friday of four counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault.

Prosecutors asked the jury to give 55 year old  Antonio Leija Jr. life  on those charges while the defense had applied for community supervision.

The jury gave Leija what the Prosecutor asked life on all four counts.

He was convicted of sexually assaulting a girl from January 2003 through May 2006 when the girl was between the ages of 11 and 14.

The now 21 year old victim told the court Leija had sexually assaulted her in her home about one-hundred-50 times.

Leija who has been married for 35 years admitted to being in a intimate relationship with the victim's mother,  but denied ever having an inappropriate relationship with her daughter.

This morning the defense called Leija's wife to the stand as a character witness.

She says her husband never informed her of his relationship with the victims mother. She told the court she had always believed them to have just been friends.

Prosecutor Dobie Kosub says the victim's bravery in finally coming forward  will ensure Leija can never take advantage of another young girl.

"Certainly she had time to grow up. I think she was more able to deal with the stress and the pain and the anguish now. But I do not expect we would have heard something different had she complained the morning after or the first time this monster abused her," said prosecuting attorney, Dobie Kosub.

Leija's attorney Mike Payne declined an on camera interview.

Payne filed a motion for community supervision if his client was found guilty and received less than 10 years, because he had no previous felony convictions.

But instead, the jury recommended  life sentences for each of the four counts, and those will run concurrently.

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