A Round Mountain man was sentenced to life in prison after it was determined that he had violated the terms of his probation in a 2010 sexual assault case.
On Thursday, June 13, 2013, Judge Dan Mills of the 424th District Court handed down a life sentence for Michael Domingo Ribera after finding him guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Ribera had pleaded guilty to the crime on October 22, 2010 and was originally placed on deferred adjudication probation for a term of 10 years by a previous judge, however, Assistant District Attorney Stacy Street found that Ribera had violated the terms of his probation and argued before the Honorable Mills that he should now be sent to prison.
In 2010, he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a nephew over the course of several years. The nephew, though, was not the first victim; Ribera was on probation when he assaulted him and has been listed in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry since at least August 2005. According to Burnet County Jail Records, Ribera was arrested in July of 1996 for Indecency with a Child by Sexual Conduct.
“Michael Ribera has terrorized this community for too long,” said Ms. Street. “Life in prison will finally put an end to the years of abuse by this dangerous man.”
Judge Mills noted the testimony of two witnesses in particular before handing down the life sentence. One, a licensed therapist who has treated sex offenders for more than 15 years, said that Ribera rated a “ten” on a scale of 1 to 5 for non-compliance with probation terms. The other, Ribera’s probation officer, who has supervised over one thousand sex offenders, ranked Ribera as one of the top five most dangerous offenders he has monitored.
“I will not ignore the testimony I’ve heard here today relating to the danger you pose to this community,” said Mills. The Court found that Ribera had violated the conditions of his probation by, among other things, failing to complete court-ordered sex offender treatment and counseling, committing new theft offenses, soliciting people online for sex, and using methamphetamine and marijuana. A defendant who violates the terms of deferred adjudication probation can be given the maximum sentence for the crime originally committed.
District Attorney Sonny McAfee, who took office January 1, 2013 and assisted Ms. Street with the case, was happy with the Court’s decision. “This is a dangerous sexual predator,” said McAfee. “There is no telling how many lives have been ruined by this man. He should have been sent to prison long ago, and I’m glad Judge Mills has given him a sentence that ensures he will not be able to victimize any others.”
He was booked into the Burnet County Jail on June 21, 2013.