Army vet found guilty of kidnapping, raping girl in Texas

By AARON MARTINEZ | El Paso Times, Texas (Tribune News Service) | Published: August 2, 2016

A Horizon City man on Monday was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl abducted from a high school football scrimmage in 2014.

Carlos Antonio Holcombe, 45, was found guilty by a jury of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and one count each of aggravated kidnapping and indecency with a child involving sexual contact.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for more than two hours before reaching a verdict.

As the verdict was read, Holcombe stared straight ahead and had no reaction.

Defense lawyers called no witnesses to the stand after Judge Annabell Perez of the 41st District Court ruled that one witness’s testimony was irrelevant and disqualified another.

El Paso psychologist James Schutte testified Monday without the jury present about his medical examination of Holcombe.

He testified that Holcombe suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after tours of duty while in the U.S. Army. Holcombe served tours in the Operation Desert Shield during the Gulf War and once in Somalia, according to testimony.

Schutte added that Holcombe suffered from dissociative disorder, which includes a loss of memory, awareness and perception. He testified that Holcombe suffered from this disorder due to physical and sexual abuse he experienced as a child.

He also said that Holcombe had substance abuse issues.

Schutte testified that his diagnosis was that Holcombe committed the kidnapping and sexual assault due to “temporary insanity” from drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana right before the incident.

Perez ruled that “temporary insanity” due to intoxication was not a legal defense and could not be used in the trial.

She added that Schutte’s testimony was irrelevant since his diagnosis was that the incident was caused by intoxication and not post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorder.

Perez disqualified another witness on Thursday from serving as a medical expert.

During closing arguments, defense lawyer Joseph Vasquez told jury that he was not able to prove what he talked about in his opening statements, which was that Holcombe suffered from mental disorders because Perez did not allow the testimony.

Vasquez then just thanked the jurors for their service in his closing arguments.

State prosecutors Alyssa Nava and Patricia Borschow asked the jury for justice for both the girl and her family.

“I am asking for justice for (victim) for what she went through and for her family," Nava said during her closing arguments. “He (Holcombe) took her innocence, her trust in humanity… End (the victim’s) nightmare and give her justice."

The El Paso Times does not identify minors in criminal cases or victims of sexual assault.

Holcombe kidnapped the 12-year-old girl at a Horizon High School football scrimmage on Aug. 22, 2014, according to court documents and testimony in the trial.

He then took the girl to his home and sexually assaulted her, according testimony from several witnesses, including the now 14-year-old girl.

Holcombe is facing five to 99 years or life in prison on the aggravated kidnapping charge and the three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

The sentence for indecency with a child involving sexual contact charge is between two to 20 years in prison.

All five courts carry a maximum fine of up to $10,000.

The trial began July 25. The sentencing phase of the trial is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.


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