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Public Safety News
Man Sentenced to 20 years in Prison for Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact and Online Solicitation of a Minor
News Release
Thursday, May 17, 2018

GALVESTON – On May 16, 2018, a Galveston County Judge sentenced Ruben Noel Ornelas to prison for the felony offenses of Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact and Online Solicitation of a Minor. Ornelas, a former Galveston County Sheriff’s Deputy, pled guilty to both felony offenses on January 2, 2018, the defendant elected to have the Court decide punishment at a trial that began on Monday, May14, 2018. After the punishment phase was concluded, on May 16, 2018, Judge Patricia Grady sentenced the defendant to the maximum of 20 years in prison on the felony charge indecency with a child by sexual contact, and the maximum of 10 years in prison on the felony charge of online solicitation of a minor.

On Monday, May14, 2018, Ornelas’ punishment trial began in the 212th District Court. According to trial testimony, in October 2016, Ornelas sent illicit text messages to a 15 year old girl. Trial testimony revealed that the messages eventually led to multiple instances of inappropriate sexual contact between the two. The State presented evidence that that these incidents occurred while Ornelas was under indictment for the felony offense of sexual contact with a supervised person. The Court learned through testimony that, in May 2015, while in custody in the Galveston County Jail, a female inmate performed oral sex on Ornelas. The witness testified that she felt that she had to perform the sexual act on Ornelas because of his position as a Deputy Sheriff.

The State then elicited testimony from multiple witnesses that pointed to a history of sexual deviancy. The court heard testimony that in 2015 Ornelas was under investigation for publishing intimate visual material. The State presented testimony from multiple women, involved in intimate relationships with Ornelas, who believed the defendant had posted illicit photographs of them online. Additionally, the Court heard testimony from a former Galveston County Sheriff’s Office Deputy who testified that in 2013 Ornelas sent her a text message containing a photograph of a young girl that she thought was inappropriate. The former deputy testified that she reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Office – at the time this was not a criminal offense.

The State presented the testimony of another woman who told the court that while a freshman in high school Ornelas, a junior, sexually assaulted her. In 2000 a Galveston County Grand Jury no billed the case.

During her closing argument to the court Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ott Roth argued that the defendant used his position as a law enforcement officer to take advantage of multiple women and should receive the maximum punishment allowable under Texas law.

Ornelas will be required to serve one-half of his sentence on the Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact charge before he is eligible for parole. Ornelas will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Ornelas was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ott Roth and Assistant District Attorney Patrick Gurski in the 212th District Court, with Judge Patricia Grady presiding. The investigations were conducted by the Texas City Police Department and the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Mugshots for active inmates are available at:  http://p2c.co.galveston.tx.us/jailinmates.aspx

 

Public Records can be obtained at: http://publicaccess.co.galveston.tx.us/default.aspx




Remembering Jim Guidry


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