Ellis County and District Attorney Ann Montgomery announced Friday, March 11, that Esteban Gonzalez Zambrano, 29, of Maypearl was sentenced to 60 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony with a punishment range of 5-99 years, or life, in prison.
Zambrano’s jury trial began Feb. 22.
The jury heard evidence about the July 11, 2019, sexual assault of a 9-year-old child, as well as testimony that Zambrano had previously committed acts of sexual assault against an older sibling when she was younger than age 17, according to a media release from the DA’s office.
The jury deliberated 40 minutes before pronouncing a guilty verdict. Zambrano elected to go to the judge for punishment, and Zambrano’s punishment hearing began March 11.
After considering the evidence in the guilt and innocence phase of trial and then additional evidence in the punishment phase, District Judge Cindy Ermatinger of the 443rd Judicial Court sentenced Zambrano to 60 years in prison. He will have to serve 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
“Child victim cases are some of the toughest cases we prosecute, and the passage of time does not make the process easier for the child or the case,” Montgomery said in the media release. “Despite that reality, our office is committed to seeking justice for the victims.”
Assistant county and district attorneys Grace Pandithurai and Sherry Roeder prosecuted the case, assisted by investigators Todd Woodruff and Bryan Norris. The case was investigated by the Maypearl Police Department. Appreciation also was expressed to the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center and the REACH Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Dallas for their assistance.