A former Metairie resident must serve a 30-year prison sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing a girl when she was as young as 7, a Jefferson Parish judge said Monday.
Alejandro Bravo, 45, won’t be eligible for parole or probation and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life if he completes his punishment and is released from prison, 24th Judicial District Judge Lee Faulkner said.
“You will never be able to put another family through what we are going through,” the mother of Bravo’s victim told the defendant in a statement read by prosecutor Lindsay Truhe.
Bravo’s attorney, Jarmel Williams, objected to the sentence, saying it was excessive because the defendant is in his mid-40s and had no prior convictions. He urged Faulkner to reconsider, but the judge denied the request while some of the victim’s family members watched from the front row of the courtroom gallery.
Bravo faced between 25 and 99 years in prison after he was convicted of fondling the step-granddaughter of a woman he knew on at least three occasions ending in March 2013, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick’s office said.
During the final incident, the step-grandmother overheard the child — then about 10 — tell Bravo to stop touching her. The woman notified the girl’s parents about what had happened, and they called the police, Connick’s office said.
However, Bravo fled, and local authorities didn’t locate him until May 2015, when it was discovered he was living in Minnesota.
Connick’s office charged Bravo with sexual battery of a child younger than 13. He testified that the girl was lying, but the jury deliberated just three hours before delivering a guilty verdict May 17.
The statement from the victim’s mother Monday asserted that the girl has had difficulty placing her trust in people since her abuse. Yet, it also said the girl has demonstrated strength throughout her ordeal.
“You made my daughter a victim, but my daughter refuses that label,” the mother’s statement said.
Bravo declined to respond when Faulkner gave him the opportunity.