Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors Michael Ghutzman and Brittney Aaron selected a jury and began testimony in The State of Texas vs. Mitchell Dale Fortin for the felony offenses of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and Indecency with a Child in the 435th District Court, visiting Judge Mary Ann Turner presiding on Monday, May 8, 2023.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Fortin engaged in sexual contact with five female children since 2005. Two of the children testified that he grabbed them by the wrist and forced them to touch his penis. One of the children testified this happened while Fortin pinned her to the ground in his bedroom.
Both children testified that they were scared to come forward about the sexual abuse previously because Fortin threatened the children and their mother with a firearm. Three other young woman also testified that Fortin touched them inappropriately when they were younger.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on both cases late in the day on May 9, 2023. During the sentencing phase of trial, the same jury heard testimony from two victims, who testified to the physical, mental, and emotional anguish they felt during the time of the abuse. They detailed the abuse they suffered at his hands over several years.
On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the jury assessed a sentence of 35 years on the Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child case and 20 years on the Indecency with a Child case. Prosecutors asked Judge Turner to stack the sentences and she granted the motion. Fortin will serve 35 years without the possibility for parole before beginning his 20 year sentence.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Children’s Safe Harbor all assisted in providing evidence and support.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Ghutzman said, “The only thing worse than somebody who sexually abuses children is somebody that sexually abuses children and then threatens them not to tell with a gun. I am so proud of each of these victims for their bravery in coming forward and appreciate the jury’s resolve in guaranteeing that Mitchell Fortin will never again harm another child.”
District Attorney Brett Ligon said, “Mitchell Fortin has no place in decent society. Our community will celebrate the fact that he is now forever removed from it. I sincerely appreciate the law enforcement agencies, Children’s Safe Harbor, and the victims for standing up and enabling this jury to deliver justice.”
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