Dustin Aguirre elected to take his fate out the hands of a deliberating jury late Friday afternoon.
The 19-year-old Brownwood man agreed to plead guilty to sexually assaulting two females and to prostitution in exchange for concurrent 14-year prison terms in all three cases.
Aguirre stood trial this week in 35th District Court for the sexual assault of a teen, who was a co-worker, in 2017. Aguirre also was charged with prostitution for offering to pay the girl, who is now 19, for sex. The girl refused.
Jurors had started their deliberations when Aguirre agreed to plead guilty to those two cases – second degree felonies with maximum sentences of 20 years in prison – as well as an unrelated pending case of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Prosecutor Elisha Bird rested the state’s case Friday morning, and defense attorney Jud Woodley of Comanche closed without calling any witnesses. Aguirre told Brownwood police he had consensual sex with the girl in his truck before taking her to a party with other co-workers.
The girl testified that she tried to resist Aguirre when he started kissing her and removing her clothing. The girl said she told Aguirre she did not want to have sex with him and tried to twist away as he assaulted her on the passenger’s side of the truck’s cab.
In his closing argument before a crowded courtroom, Woodley tried to convince jurors that the girl made statements to Brownwood police detective Brian Rice indicating she had consented to having sex with Aguirre. Woodley noted that both parties must consent before sex can be considered consensual. “They may not consent at the exact same time,” Woodley told jurors.
Woodley also acknowledged that he hadn’t liked what he heard from three other young women who testified that Augirre had coerced them into sexual acts and actions including sending nude photos and videos – which Augirre then used as bargaining chips with the girls. Woodley told jurors that Aguirre “could be no angel. That doesn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she didn’t consent.”
Bird responded in her closing argument that there is no consent if sex is compelled by the use of force, violence or coercion. “If you strong arm someone into saying ‘yes, I will have sex with you,’ that is not consent,” Bird said.
Bird reminded jurors that Aguirre had asked the girl through numerous text messages for sex, and the girl and replied repeatedly that she did not want to have sex with Aguirre. “How more obvious can a girl make it that she is not interested in a one-night stand?” Bird told jurors.
If a girl stops fighting and says “I’m going to let you do this to me” in order to survive, “that’s not consent,” Bird told jurors.
“It was not her choice,” Bird said. “She survived it.”