COMPILED FROM MEDIA REPORTS
A former Texas State University student accused of molesting women while they slept in their beds during the course of a four-month span in 2012, was convicted on Friday of three first-degree felonies and a fourth less serious charge.
After five hours of deliberation, a Hays County jury found Jonathan Porterie, 24, guilty on three charges of burglary with the intent to commit a sex offense and guilty on one charge of improper photography, the Austin American-Statesman reported today.
Under state law, residential burglaries are typically a second-degree felony. But when the offender burglarizes a home with the goal of committing another felony, the charge can be enhanced to a first-degree crime carrying a possible sentence of five years to life in prison. Improper photography, a state jail felony, is punishable by six months to a year in jail.
The sentencing phase of Porterie’s trial is scheduled to start on Monday in State District Judge Bruce Boyer’s court where the defense opted to have the jury assess the sentences.
During the week-long trial, Hays County assistant district attorneys Brian Erskine and Gerard Jesus Perches Jr. characterized Porterie as an out-of-control brute who preyed on intoxicated women. His attorney, Gina Jones of New Braunfels, said Portiere was part of a hard-partying circle of university students living in an environment in which boundaries were not clearly defined.
“What this case is really about is a bunch of college kids sowing their wild oats and things getting out of hand,” Jones was quoted as saying in the Texas State student newspaper, the University Star.
During three days of emotional testimony, four young women — three of whom characterized Portiere as an acquaintance — testified that they were horrified at being violated in their bedrooms, according to the Statesman which filed daily reports on the proceedings.
The first victim told jurors she was unaware that someone had broken into her Earle Street duplex early August 14, 2012 until police found a photo of her naked and asleep when Portiere was arrested that November. Three other victims who lived in the same apartment complex, University Club at 1441 Leah Ave., awoke in the middle of the night to find Portiere standing over them or, in once case, naked and touching her inner thigh, the Statesman reported.
“I’m still scared to go to bed at night. I wake up and I have nightmares about it,” one of the women testified, according to the Statesman.
After one of the victims reported Portiere’s unbidden advances, he was arrested in early September 2012 and bailed out about a week later. Still under investigation for two of the earlier bedroom intrusions and less than two months out of jail, Portiere returned to the University Club apartments, broke into a woman’s bedroom and forcefully assaulted her early November 4, 2012, according to testimony.
“I kept telling him he was hurting me,” the victim of the November assault said, according to the University Star story.
Later the same day, the fourth victim reported the assault to San Marcos police who issued a warrant for Portiere’s arrest on a charge of sexual assault and launched a manhunt soon joined by the U.S. Marshals Service. He was on the lam for most of three days before being arrested at mother’s house in San Antonio on November 6, 2012.
Portiere has been held at the Hays County jail ever since on a $700,000 bond.
Coverage of the State vs. Jonathan Porterie from the Austin American-Statesman:
Day Two: Tuesday, March 18
Day Three: Wednesday, March 19
Day Four: Thursday, March 20
Day Five: Friday, March 21
CORRECTION 03/25/14: This story originally reported Porterie was prosecuted by Hays County assistant district Brian Erskine and Laura Garcia. The prosecutors were Erskine and Gerard Jesus Perches Jr.
Also, the story incorrectly stated that District Judge Bruce Boyer would decide whether the sentences would run concurrently or consecutively. Under the Texas Penal Code, some sentences for multiple convictions can be “stacked,” or lined up one after another to increase the period of confinement. For the offenses on which Porterie was convicted, multiple sentences run concurrently automatically.Email | Print