Yesterday a Hidalgo County jury found Mark Anzaldua guilty of raping a mentally-challenged relative. The evidence in the case was beyond compelling: a DNA test proved that Anzaldua fathered the woman's son.
In the sentencing phase, Anzaldua wept in open court and begged for leniency. Choking back sobs, he told them he wanted to be a father to his "second family" and said that he missed his "little, baby girl."
He said that wished his victim, a woman now over 21, could have been there in court so he could "tell her that what I did was very bad, and I am so, so sorry." Anzaldua's wife also testified, saying that he was a big help with their daughter and took care of them when they were sick. Anzaldua also testified that he would like to be able to visit the son he fathered in the rape, but that CPS would not allow it. (The boy, now two, is in the care of a relative.)
The prosecution countered with pictures from Anzaldua's Facebook page showing him partying and drinking after he had assaulted his victim. The woman who is raising the boy is also now the victim's caretaker, and she testified that the woman now has violent outbursts that she attributes to the abuse she suffered from Anzaldua, and others, for he was allegedly not alone: his father and two brothers are also accused of sexual assault, and his mother stands accused of allowing the rapes to occur.
Perhaps if they are found guilty they won't be as lucky as Mark Anzaldua: a jury gave him only five years.
The girl's non-custodial father made the initial outcry in a letter to the editor of a Valley paper around the time his daughter got pregnant -- more than two years ago.
In January, he told Valleycentral.com that the abuse his daughter suffered was "beyond animalistic."
"I didn't know that people could be so backwards," he said. "I thought we were already living in civilized ages."
He said the Anzalduas used his daughter for "whatever they wanted."
"If they wanted to play horse, they'd ride her. If they wanted to rope a horse, they'd rope her. If they wanted to have sex, they'd have sex with her."
A man claiming to be the girl's father expressed disappointment with the verdict at ValleyCentral.com.
"They will live with what they have done. their only judge will be God, for they cannot face trial in a court of law. Fear God, for you failed to provide justice for my daughter."