Ex-Houston police officer found guilty of aggravated sex assault of woman in 2011
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A jury Thursday afternoon handed down a guilty verdict in the rape trial of a former Houston police officer.
Jurors deliberated for a total of about eight hours before finding former HPD officer Abraham Joseph guilty on two counts of aggravated sexual assault -- the most serious of three possible charges he faced.
"We the jury find the defendant Abraham Joseph guilty of aggravated sexual assault by a public servant," read the judge.
The jury's verdict is a victory for Joseph's victim, who had difficulty containing her emotions. We spoke with her through a translator outside the courtroom.
"I just told the truth," she said.
On the other side of the courtroom, an equally emotional woman, Abraham Joseph's wife, buried her head sobbed. Her husband, a former Houston police officer, is now a convicted felon. In January 2011, prosecutors say Joseph raped a cantina waitress while he was on duty and in uniform. A second woman testified during the trial he did the same thing to her.
"I think the judge's decision to allow this witness was appropriate. This person's incident with the officer was very similar to the case, remarkably similar," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.
In all, jurors deliberated for seven and a half hours. They had two legal questions about DNA evidence and the definition of aggravated sexual assault. They also asked to see five pieces of evidence. All signs that could have appeared to favor the defense.
In the end, jurors believed the victim's story. She proclaimed her thanks.
"I am very pleased because justice has been made," she said.
Jurors were asked to consider three different types of charges: aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, or improper sexual activity with someone in custody.
There are five women and seven men on this jury and their work is not done as they've moved into the punishment phase.
Joseph faces five years to life in prison on each count, and he could be eligible for parole.
So far during the punishment phase, jurors heard from three more cantina waitresses who say Joseph sexually assaulted them as well.
Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest in this case.
houston police department, local, sonia azad
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